Move to Curb Aids in Israel

Israeli prostitutes will be required to undergo blood tests for AIDS every six months and will be liable to arrest if caught without an “AIDS-free” certificate, Health Minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino announced Tuesday.

She was addressing a meeting of top-level health officials and representatives of the police, the IDF, the Magen David Adom, Kibbutz movements and of the Labor and Education Ministries, called to discuss the disease.

Aware of the problems of introducing special legislation at this time, the Health Ministry is declaring AIDS to be a “dangerous communicable disease” and adding it to the existing list of diseases for which persons suspected of defined diseases may be “removed, isolated or arrested and sent for laboratory tests” under existing regulations.

The present list includes typhus, smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, and malaria.

There are estimated to be between 2,000 and 10,000 male and female prostitutes active in Israel.

Of the total of 45 people found to have AIDS in Israel, 35 have died. Half of them were infected abroad. Another 237 persons have been found to carry AIDS antibodies in their blood.

Of 4,000 convicts in Israeli prisons tested for AIDS, 30 have been found to have AIDS anti-bodies, but not the disease itself. Most were drug addicts.

The IDF chief medical officer has rejected a Health Ministry proposal that the army check all soldiers for AIDS. Brig. Gen. Dr. Yehuda Danon said that if there were reason to check all soldiers, the entire civilian population should be checked. He said that of 250,000 soldiers who had donated blood last year, only 11 were found to have AIDS antibodies.

NEXT STORY