Todd Heywood's multipart feature on the criminalization of HIV sparked impassioned commentary from our readers both in support of such laws and those who say these measures are discriminatory.
"I think it is completely fair and rational for people to not want to have sex with someone they know is infected," wrote one reader. "Evolution taught us to avoid potentially life-threatening situations. Knowledge may be power, but it is not a vaccine."
Others said willfully infecting a partner with HIV should be illegal. "If you knowyou are positive, it is simply wrong to not disclose that fact to your partner before you have sex," wrote one commenter. "The other person has every right to make his or her decision beforehand. That is what consent means."
Others adopted a more compassionate stance: "People are more than just their disease. Love is important. Immune system viruses, not so much."
Another reader argued that the stigma around HIV has led to an unequal focus on criminalizing the disease. "Why chose HIV?" asked the commenter. "How about smoking in public? What about HPV--a virus that causes anal and cervical cancer? The logic isn't consistent because it's about stigma. The stigma is rooted in homophobia, regardless of the orientation of the HIVer."