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Bill Would Allow Quarantine Of Kansans With HIV/AIDS (UPDATED)

Updated March 29, 2:29 p.m.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment sent a news release Friday to address concerns about the substitute in House bill 2183 regarding infectious and contagious diseases.

In the release, Kansas state epidemiologist Charles Hunt says recent media coverage has been based on a false premise and that "it is not and never was the state's intent to seek the authority for isolation or quarantine of persons related to HIV."

Hunt says the bill requires that quarantine or isolation be "reasonable and medically necessary" and that neither of those thresholds are met with respect to HIV.

You can read Dr. Charles Hunt's open letter regarding House bill 2183 here.

The original article published by KMUW appears below:

While updating the state's public health statutes Wednesday, the Kansas Senate passed a bill that allows for potential quarantine of Kansas residents with all infectious diseases, including HIV.

Business Wire reports that House Bill 2183 passed, despite an attempt by Sen. Marci Francisco to amend and restore the exclusion for people living with HIV/AIDS. Francisco argued that the disease is not spread through casual contact and that the bill could foster harassment or discrimination.

The bill's original intent was a broad effort to bring all infectious diseases under one statute so that it is easier for first responders to get a test after potential exposure to disease. 

The House has requested a conference committee for the bill next. 

Here is a copy of the amended bill. The statute regarding HIV/AIDS begins on page two line 16.