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Are AIDS victims a danger to society?

The Story

By 1985 everyone knows that AIDS is a deadly, contagious disease. So should we quarantine those who have it? Remove children from school and daycare? Force employees to take AIDS tests? Doctors can't guarantee there is no way to catch AIDS casually, and a nervous public is increasingly unwilling to take any chances -- even if that means sacrificing human rights. They voice their AIDS fears on camera at a public forum in Toronto.

Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Oct. 17, 1985
Guest(s): Victor Bender, John Derrick, Murray Elston, Harvey Friedman, Jeff Levy, Margaret Somerville, Ryan White
Host: Barbara Frum
Reporter: Sheila MacVicar
Duration: 29:45

Did You know?

. In 1985 there was much debate about whether it was appropriate for insurance companies to demand applicants take HIV tests. In 1986 the Canadian Bar Association determined that the tests were reliable enough and significant enough that insurers could ask applicants about any HIV tests they had previously taken. They can require HIV tests for people applying for individual insurance policies and deny insurance to anyone who is HIV positive.

. Ryan White was a young hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from contaminated blood products on Dec. 17, 1984 at age 13. His school district in Kokomo, Ind. banned him from his classroom and he was only allowed to return after extensive legal battles. He became an AIDS activist, testifying before the President's Commission on AIDS, and was befriended by celebrities like Michael Jackson and Elton John. He died on April 8, 1990.


The Early Years of the AIDS Crisis more