Lawmaker: Could Quarantine Fix 'Frightening' HIV Situation?

Georgia Rep. Betty Price is wife of Trump's former Health secretary
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 6:29 PM CDT
Georgia Rep. Muses About Quarantining People With HIV
Georgia State Rep. Betty Price, seen here during a photo-op in 2012, openly mused about quarantining people with HIV this week.   (John Amis/AP Images for ALDI)

Georgia State Rep. Betty Price admitted during a meeting Tuesday that her "thinking sometimes goes in strange directions," Project Q reports. That may have been an understatement. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Price was serving on a committee tasked with finding and solving the barriers keeping people from accessing healthcare when she asked an executive with the Georgia Department of Public Health about potentially "quarantining" people with HIV. "I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it," Price said. "I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?"

The director of the department's HIV/AIDS epidemiology section, who was discussing HIV treatments, didn't answer Price's quarantine question, but Price wasn't finished. She went on to say it was "almost frightening" how many people are living with HIV and "posing a risk" to others compared to in the past, when "they died more readily." Georgia had the fifth highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in 2015, Politico reports. “When we come into spaces like this and we hear questions around how legally far can we go to isolate people or even quarantine people, then it just lets you know that we have a real uphill battle,” the executive director of Georgia nonprofit SisterLove tells Project Q. Price is the wife of Tom Price, President Trump's former secretary of Health and Human Services, who resigned last month over his use of private and government planes. (More HIV stories.)

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