The world’s first HIV-positive sperm bank, called Sperm Positive, has been opened in New Zealand to “remove the stigma” surrounding people suffering from the often-terminal sexually transmitted disease.
The program has started with three donors who supposedly have an “undetectable viral load,” which means that standard tests cannot find the virus in the infected individual’s blood stream. It is alleged that the virus cannot be spread through child birth from these individuals, and the sperm bank plans to put this theory to the test.
Damien Rule-Neal, a man who has been been HIV-positive since 1999, has donated sperm to the project. He believes that the project will convince people to engage in relations with those afflicted with HIV.
“I have many friends who are also living with HIV who’ve gone on to have children,” Rule-Neal said.
“Being able to help others on their journey is so rewarding, but I also want to show the world that life doesn’t stop post-diagnosis and help to remove the stigma,” he added.
The New Zealand Aids Foundation is spearheading this project, which is affiliated with Positive Women Inc. and Body Positive. Dr. Mark Thomas, an associate professor at Auckland University, is firmly behind this HIV-positive sperm bank as well.
“I’m glad to say that in this time there have been great changes in public understanding of HIV, but many people living with HIV still suffer from stigma,” said Thomas, who is also a doctor specializing in infectious diseases.
“Stigma can lead to inconsistent taking of medicines, and result in much less effective treatment of HIV, and risk of transmitting HIV. Fear of stigma and discrimination can stop people at risk from getting tested, and those living with HIV from accessing treatment and support,” he added.
This movement to make it easier for HIV-infected people to spread their bodily fluids to healthy individuals is not limited to New Zealand. So-called experts in the U.S. want criminal penalties to be lessened or removed for HIV-positive individuals who fail to tell their partners about their illness:
In many Midwest states it’s illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without telling partners about the illness. Some public health experts are pushing to change those laws.
Graig Cote has had HIV for 33 years, and he wants everyone to know it.
“I disclose to everybody,” he says. “I have my copper HIV ribbon on my neck. I wear my ‘silence equals death’ t-shirt. I’m a walking billboard.”
Cote does this very intentionally, because in Ohio he could get up to eight years in prison for failing to disclose his HIV status to a sexual partner – a crime categorized as felonious assault.
That law was added to the books in 1999 on the advice of law enforcement. More than 30 states have HIV criminalization laws; some require disclosure when sharing needles. And Ohio is one of the top enforcers, with 35 people charged over the last decade.
Public health experts are now pushing to end HIV criminalization, arguing that the threat of prison actually endangers public health.
“A lot has happened since 1999, and lawmakers don’t necessarily know that,” says Daphne Kackloudis, the chief public policy officer at Equitas Health.
Kackloudis is part of the Ohio Health Modernization Movement, a group working to change the law…
This past June, the American Medical Association called for the total repeal of HIV criminalization.
Kackloudis says her group isn’t going that far – it wants to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Social justice insanity has created a public health nightmare as blind tolerance snuffs out what’s left of common sense throughout Western Civilization.
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