Add your comment below for Resolution #8
Comments Submitted by Most Recent-Updated by MSMA
I deeply oppose this resolution. Obviously this is a sensitive topic loaded with political agendas. But to me one of the most important things between two people is trust. This law is in place because some people routinely abused the trust of others and put them at risk of, at a minimum, a life long disease requiring treatment and at a maximum of death. While I realize it is embarrassing to some people to have to admit their status, that embarrassment is not of greater value than the health and well-being of the other person. They have a right to know. You claim that some people say that they told their partner and then they denied it later and received transmission. Isn't that proof that even in circumstances where one is aware there is great risk, much less where someone believes that the other person is disease free. But there can be no doubt that many people will make different choices if they learn the other person is HIV positive. Just as in any medical procedure informed consent is necessary. It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of society. Not to hide the truth from one group to prevent another from being embarrassed. The vulnerable who are at risk of infection deserve our respect, care, and goodwill just as much as persons who are already infected. To deny them that is truly a crime.
-Marcus Wade, MD, Representing self
Samantha Lund, writing on behalf of the MSMA Medical Student Section board in support of this resolution, with some minor suggestions. We wholeheartedly believe in the spirit of this resolution, but we feel that the first resolved clause should include "advocate for repeal (add)'or amendment' of legislation that". We feel that an amendment without complete repeal of current legislation could still capture the purpose of this resolution in reducing stigmatism of patients with HIV. We do not believe there should be no laws regarding patients with HIV, but we believe these laws should support current evidence based medicine and CDC guidelines that patients who have a suppressed viral load have no risk of transmission and thus should not be penalized for activities such as not disclosing HIV status before having sex or sharing of needles, etc. Furthermore, we feel that in resolved clause two the word "attempted" should be changed to "completed". If a patient is attempting to have undetectable viral loads, but are currently failing we believe they should disclose their serostatus because they are at risk of transmitting HIV at that point.
-Samantha Lund, Representing self
Support. This is a well written resolution that addresses a stigmatized population. Let's eliminate the stigma and criminality associated with HIV and use an evidence-based approach to the treatment of these individuals.
-Lauren Umstattd, MD, Representing self
I fully support this resolution.
-Sri Kolli, MD, Representing self