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April 16, 2010


I'm somewhat appalled at your headline, which I consider a tabloid-esque overstatement that needlessly sensationalizes the issue and is misleading. They're not calling HIV-positive people bioterrorists; they're applying the bioterorist title to people who knowlingly or reckless attempt to transmit the virus.

Well, first, he didn't actually transmit the virus, nor is it scientifically plausible that he could have transmitted the virus through a bite, according to the CDC. Second, it seems to me that the use of the anti-terrorism law is something of a manipulation of the law's intent. It certainly wasn't intended to target people who knowingly or recklessly transmit HIV; lawmakers who have commented on this current story have said as much. For those who do endanger others with HIV infection, other laws have and should be applied (assault, reckless endangerment, etc). I don't see how applying an anti-terrorism law fits ...

The question of law, which is novel and possibly dubious, is separate from the alternet.org headline. The headline strongly implies that all HIV+ are being labeled as bioterrorists, when, in fact, that is not the situation in this case.

Anna, so glad you got this one published.

Chris, that's true ... I agree. Unfortunately, I don't get any say in what the headlines are; editors have all the responsibility for it, though it of course influences how the article is read and is associated with the writer. Unsettling ...

Nina, thank you!!

Thanks for an excellent article on a very disturbing development.


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