In Georgia there's an ongoing concern over the increased diagnosis of both HIV ( human immunodeficiency virus ) and full blown AIDS ( acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ) that has lawmakers discussing what can be done to ensure the safety of the general public.
Recently Georgia Representative Beth Price, who's had an illustrious career as anesthesiologist and also the wife of the former Federal Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; has stated that both HIV and AIDS and the spread of those both respectively require some form of immediate action.
As a Republican whose district includes parts of Atlanta's northern suburbs, Rep. Price asked the head of the Georgia Department of Public Health's HIV Epidemiology Section during a meeting about stopping the spread of HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
She said the following:
<blockquote>“My thinking sometimes goes in strange directions, but before you proceed if you wouldn’t mind commenting on the surveillance of partners, tracking of contacts, that sort of thing. What are we legally able to do?"</blockquote>
<blockquote>"And I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”</blockquote>
Now the LGBTQQIP2SAA Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, 2-spirited, asexual, and allies) are as to be expected, absolutely outraged that she suggested people with HIV and/or AIDS could be <i>”Quarantined”</i>.
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Like her husband, Tom Price who infamously resigned last month as Health and Human Services Secretary following an outcry over his use of costly private planes for official travels, Betty Price is also a doctor.
Her Legislative biography states that she worked as an anesthesiologist for more than two decades where she served on the boards of the Medical Association of Atlanta and the Medical Association of Georgia and is also the Past President of the American Medical Women's Association in Atlanta.
She's undoubtedly concerned with the risks posed to the public, especially children, as much more is learned about both HIV and AIDS as well as how people can contract the virus.
While what she said may not have been what folks wanted to hear, she's recognizing real risks and dangers and wants to find a final solution to the problem.
Back in 2015, which is the most recent years for statistics, Georgia ranked fifth highest in the country for the number of adults and adolescents living with HIV, according to a fact sheet on the state's Department of Public Health website.
The total number of people living with HIV infection in Georgia on as of December 31st of that year was 54,574 and nearly two thirds of them lived in the Atlanta metro area, even as current figured see likely much higher.
The problem being that gay and bisexual men, particularly young African Americans who are also gay and bisexual men, are the most affected by the new cases of these potentially terminal ailments.
While it is possible to live a longer life in 2017 while diagnosed, it's also somewhat of a very expensive struggle.
According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 37,600 people became newly infected with HIV in the United States in 2014.
Encouragingly, the estimated number of annual HIV infections in the U.S. declined 18% between 2008-2014 (from 45,700 to 37,600).
Reductions were seen in most risk groups and in all states where data were available.
Even greater reductions were observed among people who inject drugs (56% reduction) and heterosexual men and women (36%).
Gay and bisexual men were the only group that did not experience an overall decline in annual HIV infections from 2008 to 2014.
This is because reduced infections among whites (18%) and the youngest gay and bisexual men (18%) were offset by increases in other groups.
Annual infections remained stable at about 26,000 per year among gay and bisexual men overall and about 10,000 infections per year among black gay and bisexual men, a hopeful sign after more than a decade of increases in these populations.
However, concerning trends emerged among gay and bisexual males of certain ages and ethnicities, with annual infections increasing: 35% among 25- to 34-year-old gay and bisexual males (from 7,200 to 9,700) and 20% among Latino gay and bisexual males (from 6,100 to 7,300).
In 2015, 39,513 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States.
The number of new HIV diagnoses fell 19% from 2005 to 2014.
Because HIV testing has remained stable or increased in recent years, this decrease in diagnoses suggests a true decline in new infections.
The decrease may be due to targeted HIV prevention efforts. However, progress has been uneven, and diagnoses have increased among a few groups.
Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV. In 2015d:
Gay and bisexual men accounted for 82% (26,375) of HIV diagnoses among males and 67% of all diagnoses.
Black/African American gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest number of HIV diagnoses (10,315), followed by white gay and bisexual men (7,570).
Among all gay and bisexual men, trends have varied by race and over time. From 2005 to 2014:
Among white gay and bisexual men, diagnoses dropped steadily, declining 18% overall.
Among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, diagnoses rose by 24%.
Although diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men increased 22%, they have leveled off in the past 5 years, increasing less than 1% since 2010.
Young African American gay and bisexual men (aged 13 to 24) experienced an 87% increase in diagnoses.
These numbers are reflective of the true suffering and dangers of the virus which can be deadly if not treated and at minimal causes a great burden of sacrifice from the lives of the patients as well as making their families victim also.
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