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Proposal for Ballot Would Subject AIDS Carriers to Quarantine

December 25, 1985|From Times Wire Services

SACRAMENTO — Carriers of the AIDS virus would be subject to state quarantine under a proposed 1986 ballot initiative that was cleared for circulation Tuesday by Secretary of State March Fong Eu.

She said proponents Khushro Ghandhi, an official of Lyndon LaRouche's Democratic Policy Committee (no connection to the Democratic Party), and Bruce Lutz of Los Angeles must submit 393,385 valid petition signatures by April 18 to qualify the measure for the November, 1986, ballot.

Ghandhi has said the proposed law would authorize the state to identify carriers of the AIDS virus and bar them from jobs in food services, teaching or any work involving physical contact with the public. However, the attorney general's summary of the proposed initiative goes further, stating that AIDS carriers would be subject to "quarantine and isolation statutes and regulations."

Quarantine enforcement is at the discretion of the state health director and can range from keeping children away from school to restricting people to their homes.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday December 28, 1985 Home Edition Part 1 Page 2 Column 3 Metro Desk 2 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
In a Times story Wednesday, a proponent of a ballot initiative on the acquired immune deficiency syndrome was incorrectly identified by the secretary of state's office in Sacramento as Bruce Lutz of Los Angeles. The actual proponent is Brian Lantz of San Francisco.

State health officials contend that such a law is unnecessary because they already have all the authority they need to control acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which breaks down the body's resistance to disease.

AIDS has been on the state's list of 58 reportable communicable diseases since January, 1983, which means AIDS cases must be reported to authorities. But there is no means for identifying individual patients and there is not even a count made of suspected AIDS carriers who have not contracted the disease.

Ghandhi, West Coast coordinator for the conservative LaRouche party, has accused state health officials of permitting AIDS to be underreported. He also has charged them with inaction against AIDS because of pressure from "a powerful gay lobby" and the Reagan Administration. Homosexual men are included in the AIDS high-risk groups, along with intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs.

Foes of the initiative contend that proponents are playing on unfounded fears of the disease and that the measures sought in the initiative would be ineffective in halting the spread of AIDS.

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