Monday, November 08, 2004

Update on Amarillo case

I was looking for more information about what the final outcome might have been in the case of the alleged prostitute in Amarillo, who is HIV positive and who was being sued by the City of Amarillo under the "recalcitrant transmission" policy of the Department of State Health Services. While I still haven't found more recent news (see the link above), I did run across an editorial written by the Amarillo Globe News and published in the midst of things on September 30 (there were other developments a few days later).

The editorial begins by pointing out:

Well, Amarillo city officials appear to have gotten someone's attention with the threat of a lawsuit.

Whatever it takes.

The editorial includes a stern shaking of fingers:

The city's get-tough initiative against T.T. should send a wakeup call to those who fail to heed all the warning signals associated with high-risk behavior. It should warn the men who seek sexual gratification from women who might be infected with the virus. It should warn women who put themselves at risk by engaging in sex with men who themselves are infected. It should warn young people who believe mistakenly that they are invincible, that they cannot possibly fall victim to the tragic consequences of unsafe sex.

My only question is: Warn them about what?

The best information in this vague and threatening paragraph is the acknowledgement of "the tragic consequences of unsafe sex" on which they might have said a bit more. However, there is no "get tough" policy going on in Texas or Amarillo that works as effective prevention for broad groups of people. The lawsuit tool is available for specific individual situations where counseling has failed. When there is no counseling--or adequate funding for prevention messages to convince the broader public that HIV is an equal opportunity virus for men and women both--"get tough" just may get in the way.

Still looking for more current information . . .

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