Georgia Republican state Representative Betty Price, the wife of former Trump Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price, inquired about quarantining HIV-positive people and for their sexual partners to be surveilled by the government because they are living longer than used to.
Rep. Price, a physician, made the shocking remarks while questioning Dr. Pascale Wortley, the director of the HIV Epidemiology Section for Georgia Department of Health, at a Tuesday Georgia House commission meeting about improving state residents’ access to healthcare.
“(B)efore you proceed if you wouldn’t mind commenting on the surveillance of partners, tracking of contacts, that sort of thing. What are we legally able to do?” asked Price.
“And I don’t want to say the quarantine word,” she added, “but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”
Price appeared to suggest that Georgia should lock up HIV-positive people and subject their sexual partners to government tracking in an effort to save the state money on HIV prevention and treatment.
Part of her concerned seemed to be based on medical advances that allow HIV-positive people to live longer, healthier lives.
“It seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers, well not carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and at that point they are not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they are not in treatment,” Price said.