Execute the gays!

Singapore July 21st, 2007

That was what was screaming from a forumer on a Saturday paper. Quoted from the comments by Singaporean60 in the straitstimes.com forum:

The most pragmatic way would be like what we did during the SARS crisis. Isolate, identify, quarantine, eliminate! Homos were the first and a continued source of HIV/AIDS/GRID. They should be treated like SARS prime carriers. Others are secondary infections.

We didn’t do that earlier, but shouldn’t we do it now to prevent it from spreading further? What were the rights of the SARS patients then?

He is actually 1/2 right. The only rights that the SARS patients had was the right to treatment. Other than that, they were not allowed to even have close contacts with their family members.

But it is 1/2 truths like this that mislead readers. Firstly, AIDS is not contagious *, meaning, I do not get AIDS from a person by just being in close contact with him. Holding hands or even sharing drinks do not spread AIDS. On the contrary, just being in close contact with a SARS patient can render the other party infected. It is this contagious nature of SARS that the government took such drastic measures.

It is also the responsibilities of sexual partners to determine if they are infected. One of the reasons why this is not happen is because of the pragmatism of the nation. Once a patient is diagnosed, his name will be sent to the MOH in accordance to the Infectious Disease Act. To quote from Part 3 (Control of Infectious Diseases within Singapore) of the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 137):

6. -(1) Every medical practitioner who has reason to believe or suspect that any person attended or treated by him is suffering from an infectious disease or is a carrier of that disease shall notify the Director within the prescribed time and in such form or manner as the Director may require.

In addition, spouses of AIDS patients are now automatically notified. This alone may give consenting adults second thoughts about engaging in casual sex. Of course, we are now talking about gay sex, which is generally perceived as non-commital.

Hence, the moment that a person knows that he’s infected with the disease, he gets automatic discrimination from society. I feel that our society is not ready to live hand-in-hand with AIDS patients, in addition to homosexuals.

The other reason why AIDS patients (thankfully) cannot be treated in the same elimination manner as SARS patient is the duration of the window before a person knows he’s infected – which various from one persion to person. To keep potential patients in a hospital would just be like running a prison service and is hence not pragmatic.

To sum this up, Chua Chee Hiang quoted the national pledge to be one people:

GAY people are Singaporeans too whether you think they are natural or not according to your religion or social perception. As National Day draws near, remember our national pledge. It should apply to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.

To me, being a Singaporean comes first, everything else; religion, race, language, personal and social customs, and sexuality, et cetera, second.

However, the writer forgot that the pledge is limited to race, language or religion, and does not include sexuality and infected patients.

* Contagious, infectious are usually distinguished in technical medical use. Contagious, literally “communicable by contact,” describes a very easily transmitted disease as influenza or the common cold. Infectious refers to a disease involving a microorganism that can be transmitted from one person to another only by a specific kind of contact; venereal diseases are usually infectious.

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