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Friday, November 04, 2005

Calling passenger B E Smith on flight QA22: you have HIV...

An American company looks as though they have an oral swab HIV test that takes only 20 minutes!:

Orasure's kit would allow a person to take a swab of saliva and insert it into a small bottle, providing the results while the patient waits at home.

Company officials said its HIV test had been proven effective, but they would conduct more studies on how well average people can interpret it on their own. Michels had no comment on when Orasure would file for approval, but said the studies would have to be done first.

The company has not said how it would charge consumers, but the professional version costs between US$12 and US$17.


Now I know the privacy brigade will see the liberal outrage in the post below on Australian fascism as an akward juxtaposition with the idea of universal preventive screening, but I don't think so - so here goes:

If there is a cheap non-invasive (ie. non blood) method of screening for diseases that are communicable and may result in death and/or severe illness and/or lengthy impairment then the state has an obligation to use these methods to detect people with those diseases before they enter the country or at the border post: at that point a risk assessment may be done and in some cases permission to enter the country denied. Entire catagories of diseased people (not being citizens of the country) may be denied access automatically.

If they had a type of x-ray that would be even better - but a mouth swab seems pretty innocuous to me. Could we eventually eliminate some diseases through the imobilisation of people who carry the disease? It has contained leperosy - but in places that let lepers live outside of colonies, eg. Brazil, it is still a problem. (A recent TV documentary I saw made it clear they still don't know how leperosy is transmitted).

With Internal Affairs halving the time a NZ passport is valid and doubling the price (ie. quadrupling the cost) to fit micro chips in it to appease the USA in a wrong-headed theory that it will somehow discourage terrorists (it won't it will mean they will be complacent with anyone with a new passport who could be a terrorist) I think they should be looking at implementing universal passenger screening as a real way to protect the health of the nation.

Also: wouldn't passengers like to be informed that they have a disease - or that they haven't got a disease?

3 Comments:

At 4/11/05 6:54 pm, Anonymous RR said...

I say fuck them, test for AIDS and HepC/A/K etc as part of the current screening process. What's the point of still continuing to test for Siphilus, but not AIDS? This is a special place to live; that should be acknowledged and appropriate steps taken to ensure that it stays that way.

 
At 4/11/05 9:18 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

No I don't think fucking them would be a good idea - best keep clear.

 
At 7/11/05 9:30 am, Anonymous RR said...

Hasta lasagne, don't get any on ya.

 

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