Hiv / Aids : An Integral Part Of Society That Shapes The Way We Live And Interact With The

957 Words4 Pages
Public policy has always been an integral part of society that shapes the way we live and interact with the people around us. They are usually well intentioned with the goal of promoting order and safety for its citizens, but sometimes that is not the case. With the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the United States, laws have been created in order to decrease the incidence rate but has instead increased stigma around HIV/AIDS. This results in people with HIV being discriminated against by not only their peers but the government that is responsible for keeping them safe. This blatant, federally endorsed, discrimination discourages those with HIV to seek out the appropriate care that they need due to possible punishment. In the case of Nick Rhoades, the fact that he did not disclose his HIV status despite taking precautions meant that he almost sat in prison for 25 years as well as register as a sex offender (Warnke). Since the beginning of the epidemic, people affected by HIV endure chastisement, exclusion from services and an assumption of guilt in various settings and for practices that are, for those who are negative for HIV, insignificant. The first problem that is present when dealing these laws is how they are implemented. When it was introduced, the laws focused on whether disclosure occurred at all. The act of disclosure in itself is hard to determine because many people do not have harmful intent. Criminalizing the sexual practices of HIV positive people is warranted only
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