Citation

Controlling Sex in the Name of "Public Health": Social Control and Michigan’s HIV Disclosure Law

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Abstract:

In the state of Michigan, people infected with HIV are required by law to disclose their HIV-positive status to their sexual partners. Failure to do so is a felony and subject to prosecution, sentencing for which varies widely but has included jail time. Local public health officials in the state often facilitate the enforcement of the law by identifying HIV-positive people suspected of non-disclosure. In this paper based on interviews with local health officials responsible for managing what they term "health threat to others" cases,” I argue that the enforcement of the HIV disclosure law by health officials sits at the intersection of two mechanisms for identifying offenders. The first "community level" mechanism is characterized by gossip cultures that result in community members informing health officials of their neighbors' activities and suspected HIV non-disclosure practices. The second "public health" mechanism involves health officials' actively cross-referencing two sources of data intended for epidemiological surveillance: The state's "Mandated Names Reporting" database (which includes the name of everyone in the state who is HIV-positive) and "Partner Services" referrals (which includes the names of individuals that newly diagnosed individuals report to the state as previous sexual partners). Those reported as partners by newly diagnosed individuals who are also known to the state as being HIV-positive are in some counties investigated for potential non-disclosure. By evidencing the use of epidemiological surveillance technologies for law enforcement purposes, this paper suggests that debates over the use of and access to health data should be revisited.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

hiv (162), health (109), report (68), state (60), law (59), posit (59), case (48), partner (48), name (41), offici (41), person (40), know (40), peopl (39), jurisdict (38), michigan (37), hiv-posit (35), surveil (34), book (34), sexual (33), infect (33), individu (33),
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Hoppe, Trevor. "Controlling Sex in the Name of "Public Health": Social Control and Michigan’s HIV Disclosure Law" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV, Aug 19, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-01-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p505824_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hoppe, T. A. , 2011-08-19 "Controlling Sex in the Name of "Public Health": Social Control and Michigan’s HIV Disclosure Law" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-01-09 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p505824_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the state of Michigan, people infected with HIV are required by law to disclose their HIV-positive status to their sexual partners. Failure to do so is a felony and subject to prosecution, sentencing for which varies widely but has included jail time. Local public health officials in the state often facilitate the enforcement of the law by identifying HIV-positive people suspected of non-disclosure. In this paper based on interviews with local health officials responsible for managing what they term "health threat to others" cases,” I argue that the enforcement of the HIV disclosure law by health officials sits at the intersection of two mechanisms for identifying offenders. The first "community level" mechanism is characterized by gossip cultures that result in community members informing health officials of their neighbors' activities and suspected HIV non-disclosure practices. The second "public health" mechanism involves health officials' actively cross-referencing two sources of data intended for epidemiological surveillance: The state's "Mandated Names Reporting" database (which includes the name of everyone in the state who is HIV-positive) and "Partner Services" referrals (which includes the names of individuals that newly diagnosed individuals report to the state as previous sexual partners). Those reported as partners by newly diagnosed individuals who are also known to the state as being HIV-positive are in some counties investigated for potential non-disclosure. By evidencing the use of epidemiological surveillance technologies for law enforcement purposes, this paper suggests that debates over the use of and access to health data should be revisited.

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Similar Titles:
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