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Letter to the Editor: In response to the pro-life vandal, you can’t silence us

Letter to the editor: While I appreciated The Miami Student’s article “Students for Life Anti-Abortion Displays Vandalized,” I don’t believe it drives at the heart of the matter and what makes this event important for the whole community. Last Friday morning, our young Students for Life club put up a table and a tri-fold outside the seal, asking passersby to take a vote on when they think human rights should begin. Many people stopped, took a post-it note, and pasted it on a laminated slide outlining one of the stages of fetal development in pregnancy. This sparked a conversation and an exchange of opinions and ideas. People ascribing to both the pro-life and pro-choice cause shared their ideas and stopped to reflect on them. In the middle of all this, our antagonist, with a calm fury, entered the scene. With surest hands, he swiped the sign. He tore it, stomped on it, and scattered the remains by the time someone got a camera out to try and record the act. The man turned and started off as if the whole ordeal made him mildly late for class. Unfortunately, this is not the only time one of our displays has been disrespected and it was not even too shocking that it had happened. Barely anyone knows about these acts of vandalism and violence when they happen. They aren’t treated like...

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Criminalizing disease is an ineffective public health strategy

Letter to the editor In response to Darcy Keenan’s Oct. 31 op-ed, “Efforts to Decriminalize Spreading of HIV Are Wrong,” we write to offer an alternative perspective. On Oct. 26, the Ohio Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold statutes that criminalize the nondisclosure of an HIV positive status as a felony, punishable with up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. Ohio’s Revised Code § § 2903.11(B) refers specifically to HIV, however, other sections are vague enough to bring assault charges for the transmission of infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis and herpes. Transmitting any STD after hooking up with someone at Brick Street could land you in a courtroom by the next weekend. Knowing your HIV and STI status is key to reducing transmission and prolonging life. A painless, 20-minute test is all it takes. HIV can be transmitted through contact with blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal secretions, sharing needles, vertical transmission and contaminated blood products. Even though new HIV diagnoses are falling nationwide, there are still approximately 1.1 million US citizens living with HIV. Closer to home, health departments along the Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati-Dayton corridor predict thousands of new infections, primarily from injection drug use and sharing contaminated drug paraphernalia. Further criminalizing HIV will continue to increase infections. According to Raymond Faller, a public defender in an ongoing HIV nondisclosure trial in Columbus, “The targeting...

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