Public Safety vs Privacy: Should HIV Status Be Disclosed?

Public Safety vs Privacy: Should HIV Status Be Disclosed?

Most Americans feel HIV disclosure is an absolute necessity to maintain the public health. Meetville.com (dating app to find the right person) collected these results in a course of a poll, conducted between 7/28/14 and 9/25/14.

In response to the question: “Should HIV Status be made public?” majority (56%) expressed opinion that public safety should prevail over private matters.

Yet experts tend to think differently. Ari Ezra Waldman, teacher at New York Law School and and Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, refers in his article to a recent case of Nick Rhoades. “The jury ignored Rhoades’s undetectable viral load andhis condom use and convicted him of aggravated assault, relying on the general rule of thumb that HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. The injustice is obvious in this case; Rhoades simply didn’t do anything that was likely to harm another person. That proves once again the connection between HIV stigma and discrimination.”

Since the emergence of HIV epidemic, the call for disclosure came around in many communities worldwide. Those polled numbered 29,101: from the USA – 56%, from Canada – 4%, from Britain – 12%, from Australia – 7% and from other countries – 21%.

Alex Cusper, Meetville service analyst, comments on the results: “In fear of the terrible consequences of not knowing we feel it is really important to protect public health. Yet, to secure oneself, any person is capable of inquiring about the HIV status individually. Protection of an HIV-positive individual is vital, as it allows him or her to come forward for testing and any available treatment.”

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Meetville, a leading mobile dating service, regularly conducts research among its users. Millions of people from the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia answer hundreds of questions every month. You can find the results of the poll here. If you are interested in research on a particular topic, please contact us. Any reprint of the material should be followed by clickable links to the survey.

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