Sunday, December 4, 2011

HIV+ Philadelphia teen denied entry to school

Someone's already written this up (whoops) but speaking of both "dual-use" science controversies and flu...I read about the controversy over the engineered H5N1 that's super infectious! It's interesting that they proposed the type of censorship that I was thinking about in the last problem set (i.e. publish generally, to get specifics you need clearance)—but just who would get access to the classified information? I tend to think of bioterrorists like I think of suicide bombers (using crappy kitchen tech), but the truth is that some legit scientists could definitely turn bioterrorist (i.e., the guy sending anthrax, a top researcher for the government who apparently was a co-creator of the vaccine). My brother recently told me about the plot line of a novel series/videogame called "Rainbow 6" in which the bioterrorists work for a biotech firm, and plan to throw virus into the fans at the Sydney Olympics in order to kill everyone off (except themselves, who are of course vaccinated) and thus save the ecological world from destruction. It's scary how "bioterrorists" could come from within our own institutions.

SO IN OTHER NEWS

A 13 year old boy was denied admission to a private boarding school in Philadelphia because "it was necessary to protect the health and safety of the 1,850 enrolled in the institution." The AIDS Law Project is, of course, suing the school for discrimination, interestingly enough under the "Americans with Disabilities Act." I guess there's not really a medical-condition-specific discrimination law? A 6-year-old in Jakarta, Indonesia was also thrown out of school because her father is HIV+; she may be able to get in if she proves she is not HIV+.

It's interesting that there's still so much prejudice over HIV, even in America. (I mean, what's the likelihood that this 13 year old would spread it to his classmates? How much unprotected sex/needle drug usage is there in that school?) Even more for a 6-year-old whose father has it. I thought ostracization happened in Africa, or decades ago in America. For shame.

Article

-Annelise

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