Human rights advocates often militate against things like mandatory HIV testing, or government records that link names to HIV test results, because they worry that such practices will lead to abuses of those who are infected with the virus. I was well aware of their concerns, and consider them entirely valid – it’s easy to see how that sort of information could be abused, especially given widespread fear of and stigma toward infected people.
But until stumbling across a reddit thread that mentioned it a few days ago I had no idea that exactly this kind of nightmare scenario had actually happened in Cuba. The Castro government forcibly tested everyone, rounded up the small number who were HIV+, and put them in camps. Even crazier, the JAMA piece I linked to argues that this approach might have actually worked, since testing everyone was feasible and new entry points for the virus were limited.
My personal daily lesson in not taking the depths of man’s inhumanity to man for granted.