Sometimes, discussions are getting out of hand – and this one has certainly gone out of hand. Offering cash prizes for getting tested is a decision, one surely can debate and argue about. But the question of criminalization of HIV transmission is a much deeper going one and Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape (SA) and TAC (Advocacy group) should avoid to debate it in a wording and style which does not help the cause. What is meant by “willing infecting” somebody – does it mean, that everybody, who has not done a test and having sex without protection is “willing” to pass on the virus. Or must there be a real intention, so consideration before the act? Fact is, that criminalization is not a tool for HIV prevention – common sense is also that I always expect from both persons engaging in sex to prevent a possible transmission in any case – be it HIV or any other STI. Both have the responsiblity to either clarify it or protect or decide to take the risk in a responsible way. It can never be one-sided. Being on HAART for 6 month, undetectable and no STI means that the risk of transmission is likely to be the same like a broken condom.
Word like “AIDS Gestapo” or “racist” have no place in such a serious debate. It is about responsiblity, ending stigma, avoiding discrimination and protecting the rights of each and everybody even in the privacy of their bedrooms. A very sensible place – and a very sensible topic which deserves wording living up to the seriousness of the topic.