HIV and Friends, Part 3 — Where Ignorance Rules

Jim Burroway

February 1st, 2008

It’s strange how sometimes we see a convergence of related topics coming within a few days of each other. In our discussion of the ethics of revealing someone’s HIV status, I wrote at length on the pernicious effects that AIDS-related stigma continues to have within the LGBT community as well as the larger society. Of course, that larger stigma has had more than twenty-five years to fester.

But then yesterday, we had a mainstream news report from Switzerland, in which health experts suggested that people with HIV/AIDS with an undetectable viral load may not be contagious. (While their hypothesis makes a lot of sense logically, I’m not aware of any research to support it just yet.)

Judge Jon-Jo DouglasBut now, we have shocking news out of Canada — you know, that country that is so much in the grip of the “homosexual agenda” — that a judge believes that HIV/AIDS is so contagious, one can be infected just by sharing the same courtroom with someone. According to the Toronto Star:

An Ontario judge is at the centre of a misconduct investigation after insisting a witness who is HIV-positive and has Hepatitis C don a mask while testifying in his courtroom.

Three groups have complained to the Ontario Judicial Council about the conduct of Barrie judge Justice Jon-Jo Douglas, who later moved the case to a bigger courtroom in order to create more distance between the witness and the bench.

… “The HIV virus will live in a dried state for year after year after year and only needs moisture to reactivate itself,” Douglas insisted, according to a transcript of the Nov. 23 trial proceedings.

At one point, court employees donned rubber gloves and placed documents touched by the witness into plastic bags.

Judge Douglas’ ignorance is downright appalling. I have no idea where he gets his medical information. Maybe from the same source as Mike Huckabee. You may recall, he recently defendd his call to quarantine everyone who’s HIV-positive (while saying it wouldn’t be called a “quarantine”). Instead, Judge Douglas should probably acquaint himself with what the experts at Health Canada has to say:

HIV cannot be transmitted through:

— Casual, everyday contact;
— Shaking hands, hugging, kissing;
— Coughs, sneezes;
— Giving blood;
— Swimming pools, toilet seats;
— Sharing eating utensils, water fountains; or
— Mosquitoes, other insects, or animals.

Meanwhile, complaints have been filed against Judge Douglas:

Ontario’s Criminal Lawyers Association has also lodged a complaint with the judicial council. The lawyers’ group contends Douglas did not bring a judicial temperament to trial proceedings and treated a witness differently on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics. … The complaints are being investigated by a judicial council subcommittee, which will determine if a public inquiry into Douglas’s fitness to remain on the bench is warranted.

Judge Douglas however remains obstinate:

Douglas refused the Crown’s request to grant a mistrial, declined to recuse himself from the case and refused to consider granting bail to the accused, Lee Wilde, when it became clear the trial would have to be adjourned until the judge’s concerns were addressed.

A new trial will begin Feb. 14.

See also:
HIV and Friends, where we discuss the ethics of revealing someone’s HIV status and the pernicious role stigma plays in the assumptions surrounding those living with HIV/AIDS.
HIV and Friends, Part 2 — Is an Undetectable Viral Load Safe?, where we examine the hypothesis of Swiss health officials who suggest that an undetectable viral load renders one virtually non-contagious.


February 1st, 2008

I really appreciate your tackling a discussion on HIV/AIDS. We need to have these types of articles more and more often. Flinching away from this topic will only serve to hurt our community, I think.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.