Thursday, December 6, 2012

FTBlogger Thinks Informed Consent Is Bigotry

A guest blogger, HaifischGeweint, on Crommunist's blog, thinks it's bigotry to have a law that says you must inform your sexual partners if you know you are HIV+. HaifischGeweint thinks it should be up the HIV negative person to ask, and only if they are asked, should the HIV positive person need to reveal that they have AIDS. What a fucking idiot. What a murderous, fucking idiot. And talk about blaming the victim!

Also, HaifischGeweint uses terminology, like "poz" and "converted" instead of "infected". This is the same terminology used by a small subset of people. "ninja gift-givers" are people who intentionally spread AIDS, sometimes to "bug-chasers" who are actually trying to get infected ("converted"! don't you dare call them infected, or you're a bigot), or even worse, to people they know are assuming they don't have AIDS (or to whom they've lied to). Here's an article about what I hope is only a fringe practice.

The intro/title music for this video was made by my DNA!

Visit the notorious SlymePit! Enter at your own risk, since we who post there are allegedly misogynistic, sexist, rape-endorsing hyperskeptics according to most feminists! It's a great place to get the current news about the feminist bloggers, and links/screencaps of the crazy facepalm material they write.


  1. You made me read FtB :(

    There are several things I want to comment about in response to your post.

    1. I'll grant you the bigotry thing. And the lingo.

    2. You must acknowledge there is at the very least something wrong with a law when it criminalizes the transmission of exactly one disease. To my knowledge, Canadian law does not criminalize sexual acts involving someone who knows they have flu or syphilis, both of which can be fatal.

    3. You are equating HIV with AIDS. HIV can lead to AIDS. They are not the same.

    4. You are equating HIV transmission with murder. HIV is no longer a fatal illness for everyone. Perhaps someone else can supply the numbers.

    5. You are equating lying with not speaking. These are not the same thing.

    6. About that not speaking, it goes both ways. All people have some responsibility for their own actions. Having unsafer sex without bothering to inquire about the other person's HIV (or other) status is something people do, but it comes with a well-known risk. The reasons people have unsafer sex are numerous and varied. But there are (at least) two people involved each time, and both are equally responsible, not just one. Most people having unsafer sex are not those you sensationalize in your post.

    7. Exposing someone to HIV does not mean they will get it. Canada's Supreme Court has recognized that people with very low viral loads have correspondingly very little chance of infecting their sexual partners, and that if condoms are used, people with low viral load are under no legal obligation to volunteer their HIV status, because the risk of transmission is so low. (This rule applies to straight vaginal sex).

    8. There are a variety of sex acts, and they run the gamut from very safe to very unsafe. Both partners make a choice which degree of risk they are willing to take on.

    9. As a practical matter, it may be difficult to prove that a defendant knew their HIV status. The television recently told me that 30% of people with HIV do not know it. I'm not certain, but I'd be surprised if there were not ways to get tested without anyone (in Canada) knowing. With this combination of uncertainties, who is to say when a person knew their status? You have to start digging into recorded conversations (all of them) looking for that admission.

    10. The threat of a criminal record can have the result that some people will simply not get tested until they get very sick. This way, they can honestly deny knowing they had HIV. We want people to get tested and treated.

    11. While there are some different strains of HIV, it's not a fingerprint. Who is to say who actually transmitted HIV to someone with multiple partners? It's possible that an HIV-negative person could have sex with two others, both HIV-positive, only one of which knew it, but the other one actually transmitted the disease because they weren't being treated. What good does it do anyone to criminalize the person who sought treatment, and let the other go untested and untreated?

    To close, I think the law was intended to criminalize the deliberate successful infection of someone with a serious illness, akin to injecting someone with a virus directly into the bloodstream. But that's not the law of Canada today. It's overbroad by including other acts, too narrow by focusing only on HIV, difficult to prove, and discourages testing.

    1. 2. There may be impossibilities due to difficulty in proving both knowledge and intent, but should it be criminal to knowingly giving someone AIDS? Yes. May not be logistically possible, meaning there's a legal way to kill willy nilly, but it's a criminal act of attempted murder. At the very least, negligent homocide.

      3. Are you a denialist? HIV is the name of the virus, and the condition it causes is AIDS. Just like Norovirus causes Winter Vomiting Sickness. Don't play word games.

      4. Well then, if it's not fatal to EVERYONE, that excuses the deaths of all those who don't luck out? What about ones who might have had an extension on their life with meds but can't afford them. What of the ones who suffer horrible side effects just to stay alive? And what of the ones who will die in only a couple years no matter how much medicine?

      5. It's called lying by omission, and even if you want to call it a different word, it's deception all the same. Life threatening deception.

      6. If either of them even have a cold that can be caught, it's only fair to tell them ahead of time. That's the only fair and ethical thing to do. It's bad enough to give someone a cold just so they won't say no to sex, but to give them AIDS just so that you'll avoid them saying "no"? You've got to be kidding me. Blame the victim much? Some of the people having unsafe, but assumed safe anyways sex, are long term monogamous couples. What if one fools around and catches AIDS? Don't they have an obligation to reveal their infected status?

      7. Just because you feel their chances of catching it from you are low, it still must be their own decision whether or not they still want to have sex with you. It's not bigotry. It's normal to avoid infections that others have, especially deadly ones. If you're offended or pissed off that you didn't get lucky, too bad.

      8. Fine, but they first need to know whether or not they need those extra precautions. In other words, the infected person must disclose that. Then, and only then, if the non-infected still wants to have sex with them, they can take extra safety measures.

      9. Yes, the logistics of proving such a case are difficult. Does that mean since you're likely not to get in trouble, that you should go out and have sex with someone who is not giving INFORMED consent?

      10. Well, then those who do that, know they're spreading it. They don't want their own infection confirmed because that will get in the way of getting as much sex as before. Getting as much sex as before is more important than "have I just infected this person?". In other words a selfish sociopath.

      11. Why would the treated or untreated be criminalized? Only if they didn't disclose their status, so your examples don't work. Both people should disclose their status. The lower viral load one can use that as an argument in trying to convince the negative person to take a chance because it's a small one, but not as an excuse to not have to tell. The person not wanting to tell, just wants to get sex that would not otherwise have been consented to. You know what nonconsensual sex is often called, don't you? I'm not going there, but you should think on that a bit.

  2. SN, I can't believe people equate the Flu or Pneumonia to HIV. The first two are very, very, seldom fatal in healthy adults, and when they are, it's usually because of an underlying condition.

    A better analogy would be the difference between giving somebody a Pina Colada with a double shot of rum, and giving them a Pina Colada with Roofies. "Well, she didn't ask if I laced the drink, nyah, nyah, n-nyah, nyah. It's her responsibility to ask me if I'm gonna slip her a Mickey."

    Hell, most people cover their mouths when they sneeze for ordinary colds and warn people they've caught a bug, including coworkers they may not like.

    One would think somebody you're willing to share bodily fluids with deserves at least the same regard as an annoying coworker.

    1. Exactly, it's the only ethical thing to do.

      I think the people who use the "they should have asked" excuse, really just don't want to lose out on the sex they'll have with the person. Getting laid is more important than their partner's life. They know full well that almost everyone, except ones who are already infected, will decide not to have sex with them.

  3. OHAI. I heard about this.

    I don't know in what world "Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own sexual health and well-being" became "Don't ask, don't tell."

    I've specifically stated that each partner of every sexual encounter, regardless of their HIV status (you may be negative! guess what? me too!) bears an equal share of the responsibility to obtain the level of consent they expect.

    If the standard you use for consent to sex is the same as the legal standard for undergoing heart surgery, the ONLY way you would ever be unknowingly exposed to any STI is if you asked point-blank and were lied to, did not practice safer sex, and did not ask your partner to go get tested with you before having unprotected sex with them.

    If you are not doing ALL of these things before engaging in sexual intimacy with another person, that shows that you do not expect informed consent, and you can't possibly believe that you actually do.

    1. And if it's one half of a supposedly monogamous couple who catches it from their partner? They're supposed to know to ask too?

      You know what? There is only one reason an HIV positive person would withhold that info before sex. They are simply worried that the other person will change their mind about having sex with them.

      Getting laid is more important than the embarrassment of being turned down. How fucking sociopathic!

  4. I also wanted to touch on this point you made:

    7. Just because you feel their chances of catching it from you are low, it still must be their own decision whether or not they still want to have sex with you. It's not bigotry. It's normal to avoid infections that others have, especially deadly ones. If you're offended or pissed off that you didn't get lucky, too bad.

    The exact same argument was made by a friend of mine (let's call her Natasha) when she discovered that another friend of mine (let's call her Christine) was dating a man who was positive for Hep C, that Christine did not disclose this to Natasha after using something of Natasha's with that man and then giving it back to Christine without cleaning it with a quaternary disinfectant.

    Natasha subsequently used it on herself without cleaning it with a quaternary disinfectant first, thus she stated that Christine had exposed her to her partner's Hep C. More on that momentarily.

    First, never mind the fact that Natasha, as a matter of habit, cleans everything with this quaternary disinfectant before she uses it either on herself or someone else, because she suffers from a long-term illness that compromises her immune system, but that in this case (for unstated reasons) she did not do that.

    Never mind the fact that Christine did not use this item of Natasha's with her Hep-C-positive partner, in such a way as to present even the most remotely likely transmission of Hep C, or that at the time of this event, that man was not experiencing a flare-up of his symptoms (for which he is receiving medical treatment).

    And never mind the fact that Christine herself did not inherit Hep C from her partner, who she knew was a carrier, and who she was sexually active with.

    The man, at the time of this event, was only out to his sexual partners -- he was not out about his Hep C status to Natasha, to his own children, at his workplace, or to his community of friends. All of that changed after this event, because of the way Natasha and Christine handled their conflict. As publicly as possible.

    In Natasha's mind, she was unknowingly exposed by Christine to Christine's partner's Hep C, and this presented the threat of transmission and liver-failure-related death because of Natasha's health status.

    1. But wait, there's still more to this:

      I maintain that while Natasha is entitled to her feelings, and that her perception of the risk is rooted in her known health problem, it is inappropriate and ignorant to state it in such exaggerated terms.

      I also maintain that if Natasha expected informed consent of this risk, she would have sought it when Christine borrowed the item or returned it to her. She would have at least asked Christine if the item had been cleaned with a quaternary disinfectant.

      Happy ending to the story: Natasha never inherited Hep C. Neither did anyone who she had intimate contact with, subsequent to this event.

      Terrible ending to the story: The man who is a carrier of Hep C was publicly exposed, resulting in threats to custody of his children, loss of intimate relationships, loss of friends and support networks, and threats to his ability to maintain gainful employment.

      Christine also never inherited Hep C. But she was also publicly exposed, resulting in loss of intimate relationships, loss of friends and support networks, and threats to her ability to maintain gainful employment.

      Scented Nectar, you are as destructive and bigoted as Natasha was in this case. Natasha was well-reputed for this kind of hyperbolic reaction to things that grate against her particular ethics, and that is why Christine and her partner did not disclose his Hep C status to Natasha. They didn't trust her.

      Was it a mistake to still borrow something that belonged to Natasha? You bet. It was also a mistake for Natasha to break her habitual protocol and not use a quaternary disinfectant on that item when it was returned to her.

      As far as I'm concerned, they all share an equal proportion of the blame for what happened between them, but Natasha and Christine are solely to blame for everyone else finding out all about it.

    2. Your silly story means nothing. The guilty one was the one who didn't clean the sex toy (if that's the object you're having a hard time saying).

      The irresponsible borrowers of the sex toy should have informed the person they borrowed it from, that they used it while infected with a contagious disease (preferably BEFORE they borrow it).

      Frankly, this little scenario just makes me more appalled by what you suggest in your post. You are still trying to say the infected person should not have to say so in advance.

      What possible motivation could there be for this?
      1. Too shy to mention it is one you've claimed (well too fucking bad, life sucks sometimes). A truly shy person, even if they couldn't bring themselves say why, would at least not have sex with the other person, even if they can't say why (being rightly afraid that they'll catch it from them). The nervousness (assuming empathy exists) would cause them to just "I can't" and run away or something. They certainly WOULD NOT go ahead and fuck. If they do fuck anyways, the shyness is still no excuse for it, since what that person SHOULD be worried about is infecting their partner. The shy excuse is bullshit. It's simply fear of rejection and fear of not getting laid. Rejection for valid reasons are what you are calling bigotry.
      2. The HIV+ person knows that the sex they are hoping for won't happen. Fear of not getting laid takes priority over ethically informing the person, who unless they are also infected, will probably turn them down for sex.
      3. Worry over bigotry? It's not bigotry. The disease is real. The risk is real, etc. I call bullshit and say the infected is putting getting some ass ahead of their responsibility to be upfront.

      Because that's what your complaint is really about, isn't it? You are calling DECLINED SEX 'bigotry' and 'discrimination'. But declining sex due to the other person having AIDS is not bigotry. Refusing to let a positive person come to your dinner party IS bigotry. Big difference.

      The only realistic reason for a person not stating their status unless asked, is to get sex that would otherwise be declined. And that's pretty appalling.

      Also, your bull about low viral loads, is bullshit. You can still infect people, since the semen viral loads are larger than the blood ones. Also, even if YOU think the chances are low enough, it's NOT your decision to make. And if they turn you down fearing the risk more than you think they should? Too bad. Getting your rocks off is not more important than making sure they're giving you INFORMED consent.

      And, you can catch it orally more easily than you realize. Over a million (I forget the exact number) of people currently living with AIDS, caught it orally.

    3. I said this on Al Stefanelli's blog as well:

      If we go by the logic of haifischgeweint's “argument”, I should ask *everyone* I come in contact with if they have an infectious disease. Every time I go to the grocery store, it would be on me to ask anyone who breathes on me, shakes my hand, handles goods I will come in contact with, etc. This makes zero sense.

    4. Yes, it's always the victim's fault. What is it that feminists are always saying about blaming victims? Hmmm, it'll come to me.

    5. Scented Nectar, it wasn't a sex toy.

    6. In fact, let me tell you what it actually was, just so we're clear on how fundamentally ridiculous it is for you to argue that you have a right to informed consent, and that this woman with the long-term health problem was victimized.

      It was a pair of leather gloves.

      FFS. As long as you're going to go on about rights, you should learn the difference between a positive right and a negative right first.

    7. And just because I realize you're going to twist that around while wringing your hands over it, too.

      If you want informed consent FOR SEXUAL CONTACT or even for lending out a fucking pair of leather gloves, there's nothing stopping you from advocating for it.

      But no one is obligated to advocate for you EXCEPT YOU.

    8. Also, I just LOVE this rationalization:

      "3. Worry over bigotry? It's not bigotry. The disease is real. The risk is real, etc. I call bullshit and say the infected is putting getting some ass ahead of their responsibility to be upfront."

      Because no one has EVER said that about, say, people of colour. Or poor people. Or people who struggle with an addiction. Or people who are LGBTQ. The list goes on, and I gotta tell you, this isn't a very sharp application of your wit(s).

    9. Now your story is getting ridiculous. A glove that was NOT used as a sex toy, but which can pass an STD? Um, I'm going to have to ask you for links to the news story at this point. I don't believe one word of it at this point.

      And if you just made it up as an example, you're lousy at it. Please use REAL examples from now on.

      Also, in regards to #3 above, who are you trying to fool? You see, HIV IS A DISEASE which sickens and kills many who catch it, while people of colour, addicts, poor people, or LGBTQ ARE NOT DISEASES and do not endanger or kill people they have sex with (any more than any other people, that is).

      Why the fuck are you so stupid as to think you could compare the above? Saying no to sex with an HIV+ person is NOT BIGOTRY. Refusing to invite them to your dinner party because of their status IS BIGOTRY.

    10. Also, you keep avoiding my main point, which is that the only good reason I can find for not disclosing one's status BEFORE potential sex.

      What usually results from disclosing one's HIV+ status before sex with an HIV- person? They turn them down. They decline the offer of sex. THE HIV+ PERSON LOSES OUT ON SEX THAT WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN CONSENTED TO. And that's the real beef non-disclosers have.

      Getting laid is more important than not getting INFORMED consent!

      What do we call that again, when one gets sex from someone who did not give informed consent? Starts with an R, I think. Rhymes with 'tape', I think.

  5. If only these people had asked:

    Their own fault...apparently according to haifischgeweint.

    1. Yeah, silly people, not asking in advance if there was E.coli in it.

      It says about him: "The report said the shopkeeper, John Barr, had been ignorant of food hygiene procedures and deceived food inspectors." Well, he wasn't so ignorant as to not know he was doing *something* wrong, or else he wouldn't have bothered to deceive food inspectors.

  6. If as HG suggests we obfuscate the language to the degree that 'infected' becomes would one be sure that both parties were fully aware of the sitution at hand...'Hi I'm pos, care to have some fun so i can convert you.' could easily be responded to with: 'Oh hi Poz, nice to meet you, yeah sure lets have some fun but i'm bi so no conversion needed.'
    More than the ludicrously dangerous idea of disclosure being optional is the linguistic bullshit that will make communicating virtually impossible.
    Oh FtB i despair.

    1. I'd have thought they were planning to convert me to their religion or something, and luckily that would cause me to say no. :D

      Note that they leave out 'sero-'. Saying sero-converted would indicate infection. The stage where it first becomes detectable in the blood, I think. They ON PURPOSE want to take away any focus on the fact that it's a disease.

  7. Wow... the level of sociopathic thinking displayed by HG is really staggering. And I find the hypocrisy quite telling - victim blaming is bad, well, except in this case, where the victim really should have known better than to trust a sex partner to be honest and interested in informed consent.

    1. Not only are they victim blaming, they're doing it in regards to informed SEXUAL consent.

      What do we call UNinformed sexual consent again? Maybe some feminist out there could answer that for me. Hmmm.

  8. Good Lord. I used to work at a Deli as a Kid. One of the first things I learned was to say:

    "Yeah, Mike, you really don't want the Turkey. But hey, we have some fresh roasted chicken that was just made, it's really good."

    As bizarre as it is for people to borrow sex toys, this can be easily applied to this situation:
    "Yeah, Natasha, you really don't want to borrow our dildo. But hey, Secret Desires is having a 'Pamper yourself for Pesach' special, you can get the Purple 9 inch Lovestick for just $19.95. Here, you can use my preferred shopper card."

    1. It's the only ethical thing to do. I can't imagine that anyone but a sociopath would NOT tell others, when they know that they are at risk of harm.