Elton John is speaking out against comments made by Georgia state Rep. Betty Price. The Republican elected official raised eyebrows after being captured on video suggesting that HIV patients should be quarantined.
“As a doctor and elected official from a state where people are still contracting HIV at an alarming rate, Mrs. Price should know better than to demonize people and perpetuate myths that stigmatize people living with HIV,” said John in a statement, provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“Her words smack of a dark time when there was little or no information about HIV and people were afraid of each other,” it continued. “Today, thanks to scientific advancements, growing acceptance and love, people living with HIV are living longer, healthier lives. We also know people living with HIV pose no public threat.”
Price, an anesthesiologist and wife of recently fired Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, made the remarks during a public hearing last week at the Georgia House of Representatives when asking about ways to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, CNN and other reported.
“What are we legally able to do? I don’t want to say the ‘quarantine’ word, but I guess I just said it,” said Price while questioning Dr. Pascale Wortley, director of the HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Surveillance Section at the Georgia Department of Public Health. “We’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they’re not in treatment.”
Price swiftly walked the comments back after public outcry.
“I made a provocative and rhetorical comment as part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge and dilemma of undertreated HIV patients”