Kansas GOP to legalize quarantine of HIV patients

The Kansas legislature is about to empower the state to quarantine people with HIV and AIDS. The local Fox affiliate says the legislation is expected to become law in the next few weeks.

Republicans in the Kansas state legislature promise that the quarantine power will never be exercised against people with AIDS, but they then shot down a Democratic-led effort, by Senator Marci Francisco, to exempt people with HIV and AIDS from the quarantine provision.

Funny how they don’t ever plan on using it against people with AIDS, but then refuse to exempt people with AIDS from the quarantine they promise they’ll never use.

And the Republicans wonder why they lose elections. Then again, the GOP is becoming a bit of a leper colony of late, what with women, blacks, gays, Latinos and youth fleeing the party in droves.  So it’s no wonder that quarantines are on the Republican mind.

Here’s the part of the proposed legislation where they repeal a ban on quarantining people with HIV/AIDS that went into place in 1988:

Kansas hiv aids quarantine

AIDS health experts are understandably concerned.

A famous AIDS button from the late 80s, early 90s. My friend Pau Clark had a t-shirt with this design that he used to love wearing in Billings, MT in 1991. Paul got a chuckle out of the fact that people would complement him on his “Mickey Mouse” shirt without having a clue what it actually meant.

A famous AIDS button from the late 80s, early 90s. My friend Paul Clark had a t-shirt with this design that he used to love wearing in Billings, MT in 1991. Paul got a chuckle out of the fact that people would complement him on his “Mickey Mouse” shirt without having a clue what it actually meant.

“We live in a very conservative state and I’m afraid there are still many people, especially in rural Kansas, that have inadequate education and understanding concerning HIV/AIDS,” said Cody Patton, Executive Director of Positive Directions (PDIKS). “My fear would not be the state uses the law as some way to move all people living with HIV/AIDS into an isolated community, but that this law could allow some county employee to use this law to justify their religious beliefs over their professional responsibilities and discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS.”

Keep in mind that AIDS quarantines didn’t even happen in the 1980s, when people were extremely AIDS-phobic.  Still, a NYT story at the time, dated 1985, showed that reactionary views to HIV/AIDS were not unpopular:

The Los Angeles Times Poll found that 51 percent of the respondents supported a quarantine of acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients, 48 percent would approve of identity cards for those who have taken tests indicating the presence of AIDS antibodies and 15 percent supported tattooing those with AIDS.

Another health expert noted that celebrated extremist Lyndon LaRouche tried unsuccessfully to pass an AIDS quarantine in California in 1986.

“By including HIV/AIDS in this updated law permitting public health quarantine, Kansas legislators harken back to the earliest, darkest days of the AIDS epidemic when Lyndon LaRouche led an unsuccessful effort in California in 1986 to quarantine people with AIDS through California’s Proposition 64—a ballot measure that was resoundingly rejected by California voters by a 71% to 29% margin,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).

Former GOP Senator, and ongoing Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee once called for AIDS quarantines, and stood by those comments as recently as 2007, when he was last asked about them.  And remember, kids, Huckabee is considered a “nice” Republican.

And by GOP standards, I suppose he is.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bailey.bednar Bailey Bednar

    “I’m surprised they left off the most common infectious/contagious
    pathogenic viruses: rhinoviruses and influenza. And what about herpes
    viruses? Or human papillomavirus?”

    That’s because republicans have those.

  • jeepsdudememphis

    The Don’t Say Gay bill actually didn’t even make it out of committee (yet again). So, it’s dead in the water until that lunatic Stacey Campfield brings it up again in the next legislative term (as he has done consistently for the last few years). So, despite the stupidity loose in the General Assembly, wiser heads still prevailed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.sheff Cheryl Sheff

    The US consider themselves the world leader in democracy and freedom. However what I am seeing is a country that is embracing its puritan roots. They are extremely homophobic compared to the rest of the world and would do anything necessary to protect its extremely outdated view of christianity. They need to stop looking for ways to become protectionist and open their eyes and their minds to the future and find ways to fix things rather than just pull up the drawbridge and bar the gates. The rest of the country needs to march on the Kansas legislature and stop this before other states decide to join in.

  • Eric Maher

    Best thing that can happen is that the lunatic states experience population decline due to flight and then the blue state representation at the federal level increases proportionately.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    True, but pretty much everyone’s heard of Holiday. If I’d put the name Abel Meeropol at the bottom, then I’d have had a bunch of people asking “Who the heck is Abel Meerpol?”

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    Thankfully, quite a few children rebel against a Republican and/or religious upbringing.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    Yes, and Abel Meeropol and his wife took in the two young sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg after they were executed on dubious spying charges during the McCarthy Era.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    Kansas’s new state motto: “Making Texas Look Good by Comparison”.

  • Moonshine Fox

    And Texas, for far to many reasons to list.

  • Andrew

    American holocaust here we come…

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Kansas, Arizona and Michigan seem to be neck n’ neck as the first fascist states of America.

  • Ninong

    No one in this thread said “contagious” — unless your comment is about the wording of the statute itself? HIV/AIDS is certainly not as easily transmissible as Hepatitis C.

    Hepatitis C is believed to be transmitted only by blood. However, unlike many other blood borne viruses (like HIV) virtually any source of blood or blood products seems to be capable of carrying the virus, even if the source is indirect – like a used razor, for example. This makes hepatitis C far more transmissible than most other blood borne viruses – including HIV. http://www.epidemic.org/thefacts/hepatitisc/transmission.php

  • Mat

    Welcome to Kansas!

  • silvermaran

    This is GREAT NEWS….Knowing they gave us all the real AIDS we might finally get to treat the hundreds of syndromes of lies the criminals came up with to destroy USA….LOL

    Because they knew in 1985 where it came from and did nothing to help the people of the USA fight the multiple infections in the immune suppression the infections they gave us caused.
    http://vimeo.com/9581140
    Say Thanks CDC/IDSA/USDA/FDA for destroying our world.
    http://www.molecularalzheimer.org/molecular_7.html
    TENNESSEE BILL THAT IS GOING TO PASS BECAUSE OF ZOMBIES IN THE TENNESSEE LEGISLATOR.
    AFTER THEY PASS THIS INTO LAW, IF WE HURRY, WE CAN TAKE THEM ALL TO A PSYCH FACILITY BEFORE THEY DO US .
    http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/108/Bill/SB0442.pdf

  • Linda

    We just keep on institutionalizing ignorance – is it just me or are we getting more and more stupid these days?

  • http://twitter.com/jytudkins ty judkins

    It it was made famous by Billie Holiday but it was actually written by a guy named Abel Meeropol.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    That sent a chill down my spine.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    And straight from there to “strange fruit” hanging from the trees…
    “Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
    Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” [Billie Holiday]

  • d3clark

    Some children catch it from their parents: Rand Paul/Ron Paul. Or maybe that’s not Republicanism that he caught, just familial stupidity.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    They’re determined to repeal the Enlightenment. All of it. And they won’t be satisfied until they’re burning witches again because someone’s cow got sick or a well ran dry.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM
  • Ninong

    Why can’t they just confine themselves to redefining science to prevent the spread of the evil evolution in their schools? Before you know it they will be infamous for so many different things that it will be hard to remember which dumbass thing is the most ridiculous.

  • GlennF

    And Kentucky, where the legislature yesterday overrides Democratic Governor Steve Beshear’s veto of an anti-gay so-called “religious freedom” bill.

    While everyone is focusing on what’s happening in Washington D.C. at the Supreme Court, the red states seem to be descending into fascism. This is getting scary.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Alarmist? Let’s add gun owners to the list. Then see how you feel.

  • Patricia Mcchristian

    Hapatitis C is on the Bill and its not contagious .

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What next?—–breaking the windows of gay folks?

  • RepubAnon

    As a general rule – if Republicans say that they have no intention of doing something, their plans for doing it are already drawn up and ready to implement.

  • RepubAnon

    You left out influenza. Funny how I’m supposed to be worried about the government using a list of gun purchasers to send out the black helicopters to seize everyone’s firearms – yet blindly trust the government to restrain itself from, say, declaring a health emergency in certain heavily Democratic districts in the next close election.

    Isn’t it amusing that the Republican Party spends its time talking about the dangers of big government abusing its power, and then passes laws such as this one? What’s even more amusing – they are virulently opposed to giving workers paid sick days – a far more effective method of controlling infectious diseases. One could almost assume that the State of Kansas had some other agenda in mind than bird flu outbreaks.

  • HolyMoly

    They ever hear of HIPAA?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Kansas, the new Reich.

  • http://fighttherightwingnuts.blogspot.com/ mike31c

    Wow, these backwards and ignorant states are degenerating faster then Rush Limballs can snort his viagra!

  • d3clark

    Don’t forget Tennessee and it’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

  • d3clark

    Ah, just what you’d expect from the state where George Tiller was killed at a church service. The state that houses the Westboro Baptist “Church.” Home to radical right-winger Kris Kobach.

  • nicho

    What an idiot. Name the one thing in your list that is unlike the other? Oh yeah, HIV/AIDS. It is not spread by casual contact or mere proximity like the others on your list. What a douche!

  • scott fields

    Wow, here I thought we were evolving into a more intelligent society and the State of Kansas proves me wrong again. It seems Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Florida is competing for the most ignorant state award. Now I know not all of the people of these states are stupid, but the majority of the ones in their state capitol are

  • http://www.facebook.com/madbrainDotCom Julien Pierre

    Fortunately, Republicanism is not a communicable disease.

  • Larry

    The problem is that Republicans DON’T lose elections at the state level in states like Kansas or Missouri where I live. They have a strangle hold on the state legislature, and it is only getting worse.

  • damitajo1

    Singling out AIDS is alarmist. The statute says:

    InfectiousCommunicable disease” means HIV, including AIDS,
    hepatitis in any form, meningococcal disease, tuberculosis, measles,
    mumps, varicella disease, pneumonic plague, viral hemorrhagic fevers,
    rabies, cutaneous anthrax, pertussis, rubella, severe acute respiratory
    syndrome (SARS-CoV), smallpox, vaccinia and other selected agents as
    the secretary may define by rule and regulation.

  • samizdat

    Oh, good grief. This is not only stupid public policy, and a waste of time (thank you, again, Repuke wing of the National Party; we can always count on you to bring on the dum-dum-dum-dum-dum), it is an appalling sign of an utterly ignorant knowledge of medical science. HIV/AIDS isn’t fucking 28 Days. You don’t have blood–or other bodily fluids–coming into contact with an uninfected person and Voila! AIDS. Jeebus Cornholing Christ!

    This is nothing but pure, seething H-A-T-E, with a soupcon of blithering idiot and willful ignorance thrown into this evil brew for shits ‘n’ giggles.

  • Carl Gorney

    Kansas is a great state….FOR ME TO POOP ON!

    Literally.

    I mean, are we in the 21st century or the Dark Ages? Apparently, Kansas resides in the latter.

  • OtterQueen

    They can be run by FEMA!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Appalling.

  • eahopp

    Let’s make sure the quarantine camps come with barbed wire fences and machine gun towers–can’t let those gay-loving aids patients infect the rest of us straight, god-fearing, christian amerukans! /snark.

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