The real engine of preventing HIV spread would be people performing the test on prospective partners before, er, partnering.
[email protected]: True enough, but then some people seem to find condom use too much of an imposition.
Since Obama took office I have to get a prescription to purchase CPAP supplies. Basically, to buy an air pump and hoses I need permission from a doctor. Stupid.
Wow, 24 years later, it looks like Leonard Cohen’s words are finally coming true:
Everybody knows that the plague is coming,
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast.
Everybody knows that the naked man + woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past.
Everybody knows the scene is dead,
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows.
(from his 1988 album, “I’m Your Man”)
As purely a medical issue (I really don;t care if someone is gay or not), the HIV test is bogus.
It doesn’t detect virus –only non-specific antibodies, which may or may not respond to the virus.
The reason for this strange test, is that they can never find actual, culturable virus in AIDS patients. You could take a liter of Magic Johnson’s blood and not find HIV. This of course, begs the question — if they can’t detect acual HIV in AIDS patients, how could it be causing all that health damage?
The deregulation of medicine will come one way or another. My preference would be to avoid the pain and expense of maintaining the current government-controlled monopoly, and doing it now by eliminating government licensing of health care workers. Maintaining the current system simply prolongs privileging some people at the expense of others, whether it be through the Davis-Bacon act, licensing hairdressers and barbers, accrediting schools, or affirmative action programs. We do live in a society of aristocratic privilege, whether folks like to admit it or not. We need to get back on the path by which things are determined and decided by contract, not status–see H.S.Maine.
@teapartydoc: hard not to think of Chesterton and the parable of the gate. But sure, let’s let anybody perform surgery. What could go wrong? (What could we call the licensing-repeal legislation? The Trial Lawyers Full Employment Act of 2012? Or do you have some other method in mind whereby the market would discipline the incompetent? Isn’t medical licensure meant to solve a pretty obvious information problem?)
@WRM: Home HIV testing makes sense as a screener, although a 7% false negative rate seems like an invitation to tragedy and litigation, two things already in good supply. There’s the public health aspect–how would reporting work, or is that no one’s business? More obviously, what would one do with a positive result? Buy HAART drugs over the counter?
Surely you didn’t write that seriously? If you get a positive result, you would most likely make an appointment with a doctor expert in diagnosis and treatment of this disease as your next move.
As for licensure “solving” the problem of avoiding mistakes, screwups, and resultant lawsuits… tell me, how is that working out for you? There are arguments in favor of requiring government permission to practice medicine, but “Oh otherwise lawsuits will rage out of control” isn’t a convincing one.