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National STD registry

  

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  1. 1. Are you for or against a national STD registry for incurable STDs?



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What do you think about a possible national STD registry for incurable STDs?

 

I'm thinking something like:

 

  • If you go to the doctor and come up positive for an STD that isn't curable, then you're placed on a national list of people with that disease, you are required by law to inform any future sexual partners that you are on the list, and you provide names of recent(time length dependent upon incubation period of disease and its current stage in the patient) sexual partners.
  • The aforementioned names are then checked against the list. If the name is on the list and the current patient was not informed(proper protective measures obviously weren't followed), then they are fined. If the name is not on the list, they are tested. If the name does not appear on the list and the test is negative, nothing further is done with this person(although they could provide a bookend for the list of the names if they aren't the last name on the list). If the name does not appear on the list and the test is positive:
    • If the disease in question has noticeable symptoms, then the person is fined, placed on the list, mandated by law to inform all future sexual partners, and must give a list of names of sexual partners during the entire period the person has had the disease and a period of time before. Same procedure for the list generated by this person.
    • If the disease in question has no noticeable symptoms, then ignorance is assumed and no fine is given. The person is placed on the list, is mandated by law to inform all future sexual partners, and must provide a list of prior sexual partners for a given time period. Same procedure for the names generated by this person.

 

There are already circumstances(like gunshot victims) where there is mandatory reporting; such cases may or may not be seen as precedent. There is already a somewhat similar registry for sex offenders which may or may not be seen as a precedent.

 

Is it an unreasonable search? I think that the procedure outlined above provides probable cause for the tests after the test of the initial test. That combined with the fact that it is a public health issue makes me think such a procedure would be an unreasonable search.

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I think too many people would start screaming about an Orwellian regime.

There are people who scream unconstitutionality about programs the supported only a few years back. Of course the opposing side will oppose it.

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There are people who scream unconstitutionality about programs the supported only a few years back. Of course the opposing side will oppose it.

 

Yes. But on this instance, they would have substantiated claims. While I support your idea, I can see the oppositions argument's and understand them. I think most would consider this a violation of privacy rights.

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Yes. But on this instance, they would have substantiated claims. While I support your idea, I can see the oppositions argument's and understand them. I think most would consider this a violation of privacy rights.

I'm sure pedophiles feel as though the sex offenders registry is a violation of privacy rights.

 

Not informing future partners and recent partners is pretty much the same thing as coughing in their face if you have TB. How many people who were reckless enough to not take the proper precautions to avoid STDs are going to have the moral fortitude to inform future and past partners voluntarily?

 

The right to privacy does not extend past the right of other people to make informed decisions that will affect their health FOREVER.

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If you want to horribly stigmatize people with a disease, odds are many of them will never wish to be tested for that disease. You'd have to make testing obligatory for all people.

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If you want to horribly stigmatize people with a disease, odds are many of them will never wish to be tested for that disease. You'd have to make testing obligatory for all people.

Not really. Many jobs already require physicals and/or drug tests; the test could be added on without the results being given to the employer. I used to have a job where I was required to get STD tests every year.

 

And there's the "OMG OMG OMG MY CROTCH IS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!" factor.

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If you look at the time frame for which transmission is most likely to be a high risk factor and this being the first three months of a relationship, this proposed system would be useless. I am tested regularly I have good conscious not to transmit a disease to another person. Someone who deliberately infects another human being is both sick(psychotic) and criminal and without regard. It is already illegal to knowingly infect another! So if someone is getting tested there is a good chance that this person is of good conscious and is not going to harm others. If this system was in place malicious individuals would simply conceal their identity and would limit their interactions with their prey. The only proper method of preventing infection is abstinence and protection. There are more consequences than just stds that are just as harmful as a result of careless intercourse such as children with parents who are unable to feed them. Resources could be better placed into managing the root causes for each of the issues mentioned above.

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Not really. Many jobs already require physicals and/or drug tests; the test could be added on without the results being given to the employer. I used to have a job where I was required to get STD tests every year.

 

And there's the "OMG OMG OMG MY CROTCH IS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!" factor.

The majority of the nasty STDs tend to stick around with no visible symptoms.

 

What about people who use protection and thus aren't a threat to their future partners? Also, is this nationwide list publicly available?

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Also, is this nationwide list publicly available?

Publicly? No. To medical officials, yes.

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Wouldn't it be just as effective to create a private registry with their own list of physicians that ensures accurate reporting? I.e. you could sign up for this registry and get an appointment with an assigned doctor's office. You go in for your examination and the results are uploaded to the registry (similar to medical examinations for insurance purposes). You could control who gets access to your data. If you meet a person you want to have sex with, you can exchange registry access-codes and check each others STDs. If your new partner would not provide you access or didn't have the service, you could abstain from having sex with them, no? It's not like you have to have an obligatory registry for everyone. Those who fail to register simply get stigmatized as having unknown STDs. It's the same principle as not hiring anyone who refuses to submit to drug-testing. Orwellian perhaps, but what's more Orwellian is how few people care that it is Orwellian.

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I'm sure pedophiles feel as though the sex offenders registry is a violation of privacy rights.

People get on a sex offenders registry by committing a (heinous) crime. Having an incurable STD is not a crime, period. There is a world of difference between a sex offenders registry and your proposed list.

 

 

 

Also, is this nationwide list publicly available?
Publicly? No. To medical officials, yes.

 

One word: Wikileaks.

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One word: Wikileaks.

You don't even need Wikileaks. After various events leaving famous people in the hospital, I often see news reports saying that hospital staff were fired for improperly accessing the famous person's medical records. Give someone access to the STD registry and they'll end up blackmailing their exes.

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People get on a sex offenders registry by committing a (heinous) crime.

Like one instance of drunken public urination?

 

Having an incurable STD is not a crime, period.

Having one and passing knowingly infecting someone else SHOULD be regardless of whether the intent is malicious or negligent. If you're a responsible person who gets infected and do what any responsible human would do anyway, there's no ill effect to you; you're merely on a list tracking the spread of an incurable epidemic.

 

Would it be different if we restricted it further to only the deadly incurable ones, or should it not be a crime to kill someone?

 

The fact is that people who are irresponsible enough to get an STD through their own recklessness(not people who got it through other means such as the infidelity of a spouse) are not likely to be responsible enough to voluntarily inform future and recent sexual partners.

 

One word: Wikileaks.

Yeah, because that threat doesn't apply equally well to the files of psychiatrists and lawyers.

 

You don't even need Wikileaks. After various events leaving famous people in the hospital, I often see news reports saying that hospital staff were fired for improperly accessing the famous person's medical records. Give someone access to the STD registry and they'll end up blackmailing their exes.

See above.

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Yeah, because that threat doesn't apply equally well to the files of psychiatrists and lawyers.

Those are not made available on a nationwide doctor network. If I invade my local psychiatrist's office, I'll get the files for a few hundred local people. If I access the STD database, I can get around half of the US population, given the prevalence of STDs.

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Those are not made available on a nationwide doctor network.

Maybe not lawyers, but medical files(including psychiatrists) are already on a nationwide network. You don't have to take your chart with you on vacation; the hospital there can look up your history on their computers.

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Maybe not lawyers, but medical files(including psychiatrists) are already on a nationwide network. You don't have to take your chart with you on vacation; the hospital there can look up your history on their computers.

This is not true. Very few hospitals have electronic medical record systems fully in place. I have to take my medical records whenever I move.

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I'm determinately against this idea, but more than the simple Orwellian factor, how is this supposed to be effective? What are the real dominant factors in STD propagation, as opposed to the scariest factors?

 

I suspect it has to do with:

 

1) People not getting tested often enough

2) People cheating within relationships

3) People not using protection

 

To a much lesser degree:

 

4) People having very large numbers of partners

5) Cross-infection via drug use/needle sharing

6) Failure to inform partner of incurable STD

 

 

All the registry idea does is compel people to inform their partners of their STD status through threat of fine. Yet....risking fines is cheaper than divorce lawyers. The system is also easy to abuse, as lying is really really easy. Anyone could pretty much blackmail any partner that informs them by simply reporting afterwords they were not informed. Given when most risky sex occurs (high levels of inebriation) trying to piece it together after the fact is really not likely to paint an objective picture.

 

On top of that, how can we even be compelled to remember who we've slept with? What happens if you are jut too drunk that night, and have no idea? The majority of the times I've done the random bar thing, I do get a first name, and even remember it for a few days but I don't confirm her ID, I don't swap emails or phone numbers. Afterwords, depending on the night it may be nice to share contact info but generating and verifying the necessary legal documentation is not exactly a top priority at the time.

 

So on a practical level - it isn't realistic. On top of that, catching the scary ones that intentionally spread STDs: they will spread them anyway! They will tell their doctors they haven't been having sex, they'll give fake names to their victims, give out numbers for toss-away phones and hit on the drunkest segment of the population with the highest probability of anonymity.

 

 

 

So... yeah I really think it (A) won't address the problem (B) impact people mostly who are not part of the problem © won't impact those people who mostly are the problem.

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So on a practical level - it isn't realistic. On top of that, catching the scary ones that intentionally spread STDs: they will spread them anyway! They will tell their doctors they haven't been having sex, they'll give fake names to their victims, give out numbers for toss-away phones and hit on the drunkest segment of the population with the highest probability of anonymity.

 

So... yeah I really think it (A) won't address the problem (B) impact people mostly who are not part of the problem © won't impact those people who mostly are the problem.

 

Precisely.

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This is not true. Very few hospitals have electronic medical record systems fully in place. I have to take my medical records whenever I move.

I guess I've just been lucky that every hospital I've been to could look up my record.

 

Furthermore, that problem could be curbed by harsh penalties for leaking the information(or if the information is leaked from your account).

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I guess I've just been lucky that every hospital I've been to could look up my record.

 

Furthermore, that problem could be curbed by harsh penalties for leaking the information(or if the information is leaked from your account).

That'll be because you're on the VA's electronic system, which is apparently rather good, but also only used by the VA (and presumably participating civilian hospitals who serve the military).

 

How would one be able to tell which account information was leaked from? I mean, electronic access control and leak detection is a hard problem, particularly if records are accessed routinely by doctors to warn other patients and such.

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Dunno if the news of lost dvd-roms made it across the atlantic; over the past few years a number of data-disc with unencrypted/insufficiently encrypted data regarding health/pension/tax matters have been lost in the UK. I seem to remember that the people who found the first few that came to light handed them to newspapers - and the subsequent publicity brought to light other losses; at one point it seemed endemic.

 

Can you imagine the liability if a data-store of this list of STD infections was lost? One would hope no one would be stupid enough to store the data in a manner that could be lost and encryption was mandatory - but all it takes is one sloppy transfer...

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apart from possibly discouraging people from getting screened, there's also the problem that, by obliging patients to hand over both their real id and a blood sample, that a DNA database could be formed. No doubt there'd be a lot of non-compliance.

 

Also, i'm not sure the risk of a fine will put off people who've managed to get STD's, who i'm assuming are predominantly risk-takers.

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