Obama quietly institutes mandatory HIV testing (updated)
With almost no public notice, President Obama has issued an imperial decree executive order requiring universal HIV testing. Yasmeen Abutaleb of Reuters published a blandly-title dispatch, "Obama orders stepped up effort against U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic" that takes seven paragraphs before getting to what should be the lead:
The new order follows recommendations this year from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force that all 15 to 65 year olds be screened for HIV infection, something that will be covered under Obama's signature heath reform, the Affordable Care Act.
If you've never engaged in receptive anal intercourse or shared a needle, the odds of you getting AIDS are very low, now that blood for transfusions is tested. Nevertheless, Kathleen Sebelius going to be coming up with a plan to order you to report for the blood draw the government will now require.
The order said a working group chaired by Grant Colfax, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would have 180 days to deliver recommendations to the president.
It is fascinating that the people who decry as invasive mandatory sonograms prior to abortion have remained silent about this far more invasive procedure being required of everyone, including those not at risk. And who is at risk?
A study published last July by a team at Atlanta's Emory University found that overall infection rates among U.S. black, gay and bisexual men rival those seen in sub-Saharan African countries that are hardest hit by HIV.
The 2010 AIDS strategy aims to slow the spread of HIV by 25 percent over five years. It focuses especially on African Americans, gay and bisexual men, Latinos, and substance abusers, groups most at-risk of infection.
AIDS does not just happen to people; it is not an airborne contagious infection. Subjecting the entire population to this test is ridiculous overkill, and unwarranted. Since when does the president have the right to require everyone to be tested? What about medical confidentiality?
Update from Thomas Lifson:
I am probably guilty of exaggeration in the headline and theme. I should have used the world "universal" instead of "mandatory." Nothing in the executive order requires a blood draw, at least for now. The details are in the hand of Kathleen Sebelius, and her regard for the rights of innocents is well understood by anyone who cares to examine the campaign donations of the late Dr. Tiller. So in the end it may become de facto mandatory. Imagine schools required to administer the test to qualify for federal funding, for example.