Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum Page of 3 Next >>
Topic: HIV Quarantine? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108950
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Rep. Betty Price (GA) has lately come under fire for seeming to suggest that those infected with HIV and AIDS should be quarantined. She's now saying that her words were misunderstood, but whether or not that's the case, it raises an interesting and troubling question.

Suppose HIV and AIDS, back when they first began to manifest, had been treated like any other contagious disease. Malaria, for instance, or typhus. Both of those killers were virtually wiped out by relentless containment.* What if the same thing had happened with HIV/AIDS?

Unlikely, of course, since AIDS very quickly transformed into a civil rights issue, with people insisting their right to privacy was somehow more important than the right of others to, well, keep on living!

There is an intensely cruel irony at the center of this. If those early suffers of HIV and AIDS had been quarantined, hundreds of thousands, even millions of lives might have been saved -- and most of those would be Gay lives.

____________

* Not exclusively contament, but quarantine and isolation played a big part.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1057
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

That is a good point and, as you say, likely could've saved millions of lives, but I can see the bad Byrne stories starting about this post. Cue the Mary Sue site with a headline like: "John Byrne thinks there should've been concentration camps for gay people with AIDS!"
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108950
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

If I worry about the illiterates when I post, I won't post anything!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3371
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

What made it hard to contain in the early years was the lack of knowledge. The origin of HIV has been a subject of scientific research and debate since the virus was identified in the 1980s.

Remember, HIV is not selective in your sexual preference - you can contract HIV if you are heterosexual and sexually active. In 2015, the CDC reported thousands of HIV infections identifying as heterosexual.

HIV/AIDS is not easily transmissible so it isn't a public health threat on the order of say... tuberculosis. A quarantine would do little to limit it. Sex education, condom distribution and (safe) needle exchange is much more effective.

-C!


Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Eric Kleefeld
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4386
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

By the time HIV/AIDS was discovered, it was already too far out in the wild (and with a 10-year incubation period for adults) for quarantine to have been possible, even if a person were to have thought it desirable for those early years.

But here's something else from the news article:

 QUOTE:
“It’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are … carriers with the potential to spread,” Price said during the hearing. “Whereas in the past, they died more readily, and then at that point, they’re not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they’re not in treatment.”


So yes, a "family values" Republican, herself the wife of a former corrupt Sec. of Health and Human Services, looks back positively on the days when HIV/AIDS patients died so much quicker.

We should remember that the original response to HIV/AIDS by much of the Christian Right in this country was to celebrate it as God's wrath upon sinners. And a great many of them still harbor this sentiment.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4213
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:32pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I think that with the whole ‘punishment from God’ thing that went on, this could never have got off the ground. However, as you say, if we had treated this as we treat any other similar disease, we could have beaten it.

This sex thing complicates everything it touches doesn’t it?
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
marios ksidonas
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2015
Location: Greece
Posts: 88
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

What a big issue!!!!
The major problem with this desease is that it was very underestimated back then when the first victims appeared.Since it wasnt contageus through the air it was ok for them not to be  in quarantine.So far so good.What they miscalculated was the human psique.The human denial to accept the reality drove a lot of people in reckless actions gave the desease the opportunity to spread worldwide.I believe many of them saw it as a salvation  of the gay community extermination so they were loose upon the upcoming catastrophe.They didnt saw back then that primitive human emotions would irise (ex. since i have it everybody will have it!) that drove a lot of people not to have safe sex IN PURPOSE  so to spread their catastrophy all over the world!Men women and children became carriers of the desease  and lost their life.Plus one of the most stupid human ideology of THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME was easy food for the desease..and all of that cause we understimated the human psique.(not to mention the blood trunsfusion victims.)


Edited by marios ksidonas on 22 October 2017 at 1:52pm
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 1852
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

There were calls for quarantine when AIDS first gripped public conciousness in the Eighties, but they didn't come from public health officials—they came from homophobes and the religious right incorporating AIDS into their pre-existing persecution model. There's a long and heartbreaking list of public health measures whose delay or lack of implementation contributed to the spread of the disease, but quarantine was never on the list. 

California recently changed the law criminalizing knowingly transmitting HIV to an uninformed person, from a felony to a midemeanor. This brought the penalty in line with other diseases such as herpes or syphilis;HIV/AIDS was the only STD treated as a felony, a leftover from Eighties hysteria. The liberals in my Twitter feed exploded; it was if the past 30 years of research and education never happened. "AIDS is a death sentence!" ""The stigma never goes away!" "It should be life in prison!" 

This about a disease currently as manageable as Type 1 Diabetes. 
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Eric Kleefeld
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4386
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

As Jerry Falwell infamously said:

 QUOTE:
"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers. AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals. It is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."


These are the sort of people who call themselves "Values Voters," and Republican presidential candidates all flock to seek out votes and endorsements at the university that Falwell founded.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Bob Harvey
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 November 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 148
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 2:15pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

AIDS quarantine was one of two bills I proposed in my 11th grade "Mock Congress" exercise. It was shot down in the Senate.
Back to Top profile | search
 
J W Campbell
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 June 2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 353
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 3:36pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I can't find an option to delete my account. Would a moderator kindly oblige?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1057
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 3:49pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

If this in relation to being offended by JB's post, I think you might be missing his point, JW. John Byrne is not anti-gay as evidenced by his stance on gay rights throughout his career and the fact he created not one, but two gay characters (Northstar and Maggie Sawyer, with Northstar being the first gay superhero in comics) neither of which were ever treated as stereotypes. In fact, as he states in his initial post, this would have likely saved millions of gay folks' lives. He's not even saying a quarantine should have been implemented, just that it would have saved a lot of lives.

Edited by Shane Matlock on 22 October 2017 at 3:50pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11499
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

He's not even saying a quarantine should have been implemented, just that it would have saved a lot of lives.

——

As has been pointed out, AIDS has a long incubation period. The first death where HIV antibodies were found was a Midwestern teenager who died in 1969. By the time the medical community knew what was going on, it had been in the wild for years. A quarantine would have just as likely made things worse by fueling anti-gay prejudice and driving the disease underground as people would have avoided treatment. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1057
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:11pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Yes. I'm privy to the incubation period and how hard it was to initially detect. People could have it for years and not have it show up in tests only to have HIV eventually manifest and show up on the tests. Although a quarantine after it was detected likely would have reduced the deaths, I'm not saying a quarantine was a good idea by any means. I was just trying to emphasize that JB's intent in speculating about it wasn't coming at it from a homophobic/right wing "lock up the gays" one, though surely as a fan of JBs for years he would know that by now.
Back to Top profile | search
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 1852
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I don't know what political reputation Randy Shilts's AND THE BAND PLAYED ON currently enjoys, but when I read it in 1991, I found it a thoroughly informative and horrifyingly eye-opening account of a systemic failure, not just in government and public health, but of human nature, that allowed HIV/AIDS to spread. It's impossible to say how many lives were lost through inaction -- for example, blood banks knew very early about AIDS infected blood in their supplies, but as one Center for Disease Control doctor observed, executives appeared to be waiting for an undefined number of corpses before they would consider it worth the expense to reform their collection and testing protocols.

There's much about the book that has stayed with me, but I remember that same doctor calculating the implications of the incubation period and realized America had been in an epidemic for close to half a decade without realizing it, and there were thousands of deaths to come.

It's a word Shilts kept returning to: "Thousands." Thousands of blood transfusions. Thousands of men visiting bath houses. Thousands of dollars in political contributions by the blood bank industry. Thousands of cells sitting in storage unexamined. Thousands of protestors in the streets. Thousands of infections as the Reagan administration ignored AIDS, delayed and underfunded research and made jokes at press conferences. And thousands, and thousands, of deaths.

Shilts himself died of AIDS in 1994.

Anyway, I recommend the book.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108950
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

In the play 1776, the highly fictionalized Stephen Hopkins, delegate from Rhode Island, has this to say: "I’ve never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell yes, I’m for debating anything!”

The real Hopkins is not known to have expressed such a sentiment, but when I first heard the words, decades ago, they seemed to represent what I most admire about Americans -- that we're not afraid to talk about anything.

Has that really changed?

Back to Top profile | search
 
Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3371
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

One of the things I like about this Forum, JB - is the open, civil discussions/debates we can have here.

-C!
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108950
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 4:57pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

And, seriously, have we forgotten what "suppose" means?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1057
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

JB, it hasn't changed for most Americans. One of the things I've long admired about you is that you're not afraid to talk about anything or to put your opinions out there. I think the whole PC movement has really hurt discourse in this country. What started off with likely good intent has begun to trample over free speech. And anyone that would take from your initial posting something that was pure speculation as something that should have been done falls into the "illiterates" category.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8646
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I couldn't add to the topic originally, but when did conversation/debate ever hurt anyone?

Surely we can only get to the heart of an issue, and improve our world, if we chat/debate, whether it be about social security, this issue, law and order, etc. A discussion is better than no discussion at all.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Kleefeld
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4386
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Michael Roberts:

 QUOTE:
As has been pointed out, AIDS has a long incubation period. The first death where HIV antibodies were found was a Midwestern teenager who died in 1969. By the time the medical community knew what was going on, it had been in the wild for years. A quarantine would have just as likely made things worse by fueling anti-gay prejudice and driving the disease underground as people would have avoided treatment.

Yes. An effective quarantine was simply never possible. Quarantine only works with diseases that manifest in a fairly quick amount of time after infection: Days, weeks, perhaps a few months; but certainly not 10 years.

Instead, there were simply ultra right-wingers using it as a pretense to persecute gays, and openly hoping for them all to die off. (As state Rep. Price herself wishes they'd still do quickly, like it used to be.)

At that point, resistance to such proposals became a civil rights cause — because it was a civil rights cause.

This gets to an odd thing about persecution of gays: You can kill all the Jews in the world, or kill all the Romani in the world, and there won't be any more Jews or Romani. (Or the Rohingya in Myanmar, plus a great many indigenous peoples around the world, etc.) But even if you did kill off all the LGBT people on Earth, there'd be more of them again soon enough, once a new generation hits puberty.

But since the religious right fully denies any scientific finding that might clash with their Dark Ages worldview, you can't expect logic to go that far with the people at the top. At best, you might peel away some secret doubters from the flock.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11499
Posted: 22 October 2017 at 10:57pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

The moralizing can be seen in the way blood donations are handled. Up until a couple of years ago, MSM (men who have had sex with men) and anyone who has engaged in sex for money or drugs at least once had a lifetime deferral on blood donation. Meanwhile, as a straight man, I could have unprotected anal sex with multiple IV drug-using prostitutes, and I would only have had a 12-month deferral. Even now, MSM deferral is 12 months, which unfairly prohibits gay men in monogamous relationships and/or who practice safe sex from donating blood.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Peck
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1703
Posted: 23 October 2017 at 12:03am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Suppose HIV and AIDS, back when they first began to manifest, had been
treated like any other contagious disease. Malaria, for instance, or typhus.
Both of those killers were virtually wiped out by relentless containment.*
What if the same thing had happened with HIV/AIDS?


*******
It would not have made a difference. If AIDS infected people were
quarantined then you would have less people coming forward it would have
gone further underground. The incubation period is longer than the other
diseases and symptoms show up much later so fewer would come forward
earlier to identify possible transmission to others.

You can not compare HIV and AIDS with other contagious diseases which
have been quarantined in the past. First malaria is not contagious and you
do not quarantine people since it cannot be spread from person to person .
Typhus is transmitted by the human body louse and should be quarantined.
HIV and AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease and is not be contracted
thru the air or personal to person contact. There is no need to quarantine
people with AIDS. It would have added to the bigotry and hysteria.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 9111
Posted: 23 October 2017 at 12:48am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Regarding blood donation,in the UK we just have to fill
in a check list of the questions Michael mentioned,i`m
not sure if it`s the same in the U.S. but you could lie
and nobody would have been any wiser until it was too
late.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1654
Posted: 23 October 2017 at 4:19am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

ITEM: Mr. Byrne is right; there is no subject that cannot be discussed by reasonable, intelligent people. Although this independence business... :)

ITEM: Mr. Byrne - it seems that people are not willing to discuss gun control. It DEMANDS discussion... but it's "never the right time."

ITEM: Isolation and quarantine might well have served to control, or even eliminate, AIDS and HIV at the time had action been taken quickly enough. But there are a couple of issues.

First, there is a stigma associated with having a disease or condition that requires separation from the "normal" segment of society. This, of course, makes it hard to find those with that disease... because no one wants to be isolated that way. 

COROLLARY: There's main stream Religion in the background, pitching in that the Old Man in the Nightrobe has done this intentionally because these people MUST DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED FOR SOMETHING. Because He is NEVER WRONG. And that part is horribly hard to get past. In a slightly similar vein, go tell a veteran's family, which has always been a good Christian family, that their child was killed because war is wrong and God wanted that child dead. I hate to say it, but Religion seems to often have been of the mindset of "You don't need treatment; we'll WISH your condition away" and thought that it would realistically work.

Second, I have never been in isolation or quarantine for ANY purpose, so I don't know how such treatment functions - but I have never heard of such treatment involving dignity, respect, or kindness. I have known people in senior care facilities who are PAYING for care and PAYING for treatment and who are treated like nuisances at best, and garbage at worst. These stories are so prevalent that we know they are the truth. Who would want to try to abide such conditions, even if necessary to their own lives?
Back to Top profile | search
 

Page of 3 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login