It’s been a long-standing public policy that state health officials should track people who carry serious, communicable diseases. It’s not a very nice thing to do, but it’s been held a necessity for a very, very long time.
For some reason, though, AIDS has won an exception to the same rules that cover other sexually-transmitted diseases, along with other conditions like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, meningitis, and other conditions.
I don’t quite grasp why this exception has been carved out, but it seems to have a lot of people awfully worked up.
Issues of public health should have no politics. Diseases don’t come in “red” or “blue” strains. And based solely on medical issues, AIDS — which has no cure, often no visible symptoms to warn people that they are at risk of spreading infection, and limited palliative treatments — should be treated MORE strictly than lesser ailments. But that’s not how things are handled.
I highly doubt this is the case, but the cynic in me wonders if these AIDS activists fight so hard against common-sense public health policies in the hopes of expanding their numbers, thus increasing public pressure on more research and more funding for a cure. But that is far, far too cynical, even for me.