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Commentary & Opinion

Health Officials Should Respond to HIV/AIDS in Same Way They Responded to SARS, Columnist Says

July 15, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

It is time that health officials respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in the same way they responded to severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, or with the "same earnestness" applied to combating HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel columnist Howard Goodman writes. While addressing SARS, health officials imposed quarantines and isolated patients, which effectively "stopped [the spread of SARS] in its tracks," according to Goodman. Palm Beach County, Fla., commissioners have suggested mandatory HIV testing for incoming jail inmates, which some advocates say "is wrong," he says (Goodman, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 7/13). Palm Beach County commissioners last week agreed to ask state legislators to change state law to allow for mandatory HIV testing of every county jail inmate. Under a plan discussed at the meeting, inmates would be required to undergo testing regardless of whether they had been convicted of a crime (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/11). Goodman says that public health authorities should see HIV/AIDS as a "public health problem without being paralyzed by patient privacy or fretting about the cost." He says, "Officials at every level ought to be rounding up all the money they can to screen and treat likely carriers," concluding that testing inmates -- even if the testing is voluntary -- is "a logical start" (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 7/13).

Back to other news for July 15, 2003


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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