HIV Reporting Privacy Compared to Covid Privacy+ (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

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The media's reporting and the public's discussion concerning Covid and HIV are radically different.

When HIV first entered the public realm (circa 1981), the LGBT community, from what I remember, rose-up to assert that people cannot be discriminated against nor asked questions concerning their HIV status. The legislative process responded by supporting a right to privacy related to HIV status. That meant, as one example, that employers could not ask a person if they had HIV. So, if you had HIV, you were "protected' by a privacy shield. (I have not kept-up with any legislative changes that may have occurred over the last 40 years in terms of HIV.)

Today, in response to Covid, there are now incessant demands that a person can be asked concerning their Covid status and could face adverse action (discrimination) should they not respond appropriately. Or if you travel, that you must have a "Covid passport". In terms of Covid, the concept of a "privacy shield" is being tossed overboard. Basically a total reversal of public viewpoint and policy.

The transmission of HIV and Covid are substantially different. The transmission of HIV requires bodily fluid contact whereas Covid is airborne. Nevertheless, one has to wonder what is behind this massive pendulum swing in public attitudes and if is appropriate.

Below is a website of Lambda Legal. The purpose of that website is to advocate/show what rights are afforded to those with HIV. By extension, what rights should the general public have in this world of Covid?


One of the questions posed by Lambda Legal is: "Can I be fired (or not hired) because of my HIV status?"
Except in a few extremely rare circumstances, it is against the law for someone to fire you for being HIV-positive or to ask you if you’re HIV-positive during the hiring process.
A person’s HIV status should not dictate what she or he can—or cannot—do at work. This should be determined by qualifications, talents and commitment to the job. Some workers with HIV may require accommodations in order to perform a particular job, while others may never experience limitations that affect their ability to work. When health care issues do affect a person’s ability to work, the same rules about how to handle that situation apply regardless of whether the person is HIV-positive or HIV-negative. But that’s illegal. See “What laws protect me from anti-HIV discrimination at work?”
Seems that we should be able to simply substitute the words: "Covid positive" for "HIV-positive"? Your Covid status or refusal to disclose your Covid status should not be a basis for discrimination.
 

AccessBlaster

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Science has been polluted by politics, it's been the case for a very long time.
 

D_Walla

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I would maintain that they are fundamentally different.

When HIV first entered the public realm (circa 1981), the LGBT community, from what I remember, rose-up to assert that people cannot be discriminated against nor asked questions concerning their HIV status.
It certainly wasn't an immediate response, and it decimated the gay community. It took most of the 80s before any real momentum gained traction on the front and, depending on which country one is in, one is still in a struggle on the topic. For example, people with HIV are to this day forbidden from getting work visas in, or immigrating to, a number of the world's major economies (including travelling to the US until 2010).

As you rightly point out, transmission is one point of distinction. There is more to it than "bodily fluid contact", but I agree with your point. One cannot 'accidentally' infect ones co-worker in an office with HIV, for example, but one certainly can with covid.

There are quite a few other points of distinction. One critical point is that one cannot simply 'recover' from HIV, whereas many/most people who contract COVID do (here I note that symptoms of 'long covid' persist for some time afterwards). At present, although HIV is a managable condition through the use of antiretroviral drugs, at the end of the day, it's still there (albeit at undetectable levels).

The LL documentation notwithstanding, the reality is that people are routinely fired or passed over for promotion for being gay - it's just that this is never the official reason.

There has never been, nor is there now, a vaccination to prevent the transmission of HIV or a cure like there now is with Hep C. I'm absolutely certain, though, that if there was, then the discussion about the rights etc of people with HIV would taken on a markedly different tone.

But again, apples and oranges....
 

Steve R.

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The points you make are valid. What I was attempting to highlight is the incongruous approach to privacy by the media and supposed civil libertarians. HIPPA has been used as an excuse to "prohibit" asking questions concerning disease status, where I used HIV as an example.

Now HIPPA has disappeared as a privacy protection. We now have hysterical demands that there are no privacy rights with Covid. Witness emerging demands for Covid "passports" and even immediate testing prior to doing something, like attending an event.
 

The_Doc_Man

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While I am very much a libertarian and absolutely do not like the direction that COVID is taking us, I have to say that historically, laws always yield to harsh reality. Lynch mobs and the earlier equivalent of tarring and feathering an unwanted person are examples from history. Eventually the perpetrators of the violations might be tracked down and punished... but also might not. Some of the civil rights victims from the USA in the 1960s didn't get justice for over 30 years.

And...

the incongruous approach to privacy by the media and supposed civil libertarians

You actually want the MEDIA to be consistent when there are big, juicy headlines waiting to be published? Civil libertarians can be pressured into being just as stupid as everyone else.
 

harpygaggle

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Yes, media is a great influencer in polluting everyone's mind. This is all about politics.
 

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