Georgia lawmaker alludes to quarantine as way to stop spread of HIV

State Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell.
State Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell. Georgia State Legislature

A Georgia legislator’s remarks about HIV-positive people is causing some controversy after she mentioned a quarantine while asking about ways to stem the disease from spreading.

State Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell, comments came during a health care committee meeting that was first reported on by Project Q Atlanta. Price is the wife of former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Tom Price, who recently resigned after being caught using private charters on the taxpayers’ dime.

“My thinking sometimes goes in strange directions, but before you proceed if you wouldn’t mind commenting on the surveillance of partners, tracking of contacts, that sort of thing. What are we legally able to do," Betty Price said.

"And I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” she said. “Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread.”

Price’s remarks led to a member of the Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization to says comments like hers show how much work has to be done to lessen the stigma surrounding people with HIV.

“When we come into spaces like this and we hear questions around how legally far can we go to isolate people or even quarantine people, then it just lets you know that we have a real uphill battle,” Dazon Dixon Diallo told Project Q Atlanta.

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph