Main | Wednesday, March 27, 2013

KANSAS: Legislature Considers Bill That Calls For Quarantining The HIV+

The Kansas legislature is expected to pass a bill that provides for quarantining people living with HIV and AIDS. This story is NOT from thirty years ago. The bill is allegedly meant to help emergency response workers (firefighters, EMTs, etc) who presently must get a court order to test the blood of patients to whom they have been exposed.
Kansas banned quarantining those with AIDS back in 1988, but if this law is passed, those in the LGBT community fear health officials — especially those in rural areas — will begin intimidating those with HIV by threatening to quarantine them. Lawmakers say that is not the intent of this law, that they want to give health officials the ability to quarantine those with infectious diseases if need be. But since the way people are infected with HIV is so different from many other infectious diseases like TB and Hepatitis, AIDS activists don’t believe HIV patients should ever be threatened by health officials.
From the bill, which includes people infected with tuberculosis, hepatitis B & C, and HIV.
The secretary of health and environment is authorized to issue such orders and adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary to prevent the spread and dissemination of diseases injurious to the public health, including, but not limited to, providing for the testing for such diseases and the isolation and quarantine of persons afflicted with or exposed to such diseases. No later than January 1, 2014, the secretary shall develop and adopt rules and regulations providing for the protection of individuals who provide medical or nursing services, clinical or forensic laboratory services, emergency medical services and firefighting, law enforcement and correctional services, or who provide any other service {or individuals who receive any such services} or are in any other employment where the individual may encounter occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.

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