September 19, 2018

Penalty Reduced For Intentionally Exposing Some To HIV

10 October 2017, 04:09 | Randall Craig

Penalty Reduced For Intentionally Exposing Some To HIV

Knowingly exposing others to HIV will no longer be a felony in California

In 24 states, laws require people who are aware that they have HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners and 14 states require disclosure to needle-sharing partners. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria argued that California law was outdated and stigmatized people living with HIV.

Weiner said in a statement that its passage represents 'a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals'. "HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that's what SB 239 does".

It's refreshing to see that in the eternal race between Eros and Thanatos, Eros generally comes out on top.

While screening donated blood helps, it's also important that people who know they are infected not donate, because if infected blood never enters the blood donation system, that's the best prevention.

Republicans pushed back on the law, pointing out that it has the potential to increase the number of HIV infections since 75 percent of people on prescriptions in the US don't take their medicine according to their doctor's orders.

"The most effective way to reduce HIV infections is to destigmatize HIV", the state senator told CNN. "These laws are so draconian that you can be convicted of a felony and sent to state prison even if you engage in behavior that creates zero risk of HIV infection".

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially announced that people who are on regular viral load suppression medication can not transmit HIV to their partners, as it is maintained at undetectable levels.

Meanwhile, the Republican lawmakers including Sen.

Although some praised the bill, many others shared their concern over it, saying that such legislation would inevitably increase the risk of HIV infections.

"It's absolutely insane to me that we should go light on this", he added.

"I'm of the mind that if you purposefully inflict another with a disease that alters their lifestyle the rest of their life, puts them on a regimen of medications to maintain any normalcy, it should be a felony", he said during the floor debate, as cited by Los Angeles Times.

He failed to say how reducing the crime to a misdemeanor will positively impact the number of people who get tested for the virus and are subsequently provided care. Anderson also said it could be extended to other communicable diseases apart from HIV. Jeff Stone voted against the legislation and shared his disapproval in September when the Senate voted on the bill.

Stone said three out of four people who are on prescription medication on the country do not follow their doctor's guidelines on how to take the drugs. But fortunately infecting someone with HIV has been decriminalized. Those who don't take their AIDS medicine and allow the virus to duplicate are able to transmit the disease to an unknowing partner.

Others in the group of more than 150 to support the bill included the California Medical Association, the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the California Women's Law Center and the ACLU of California.

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