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ibusinesslines.com December 11, 2017


Knowingly Giving Someone HIV No Longer A Felony In California

10 October 2017, 04:05 | Melissa Porter

Brown signs bill reducing penalties for HIV transmission

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

Purposely exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing a positive status is no longer a felony in California.

The legislation also applies to people who give or donate blood without telling the blood bank they have HIV. The bill would ensure those facilities accommodate transgender people and their needs, including letting them decide which gender-specific bathroom they prefer to use. Criminal penalties are meant for more for violations that expose a patients to risk of death or serious harm, his office said.

California's new law comes as recently developed drugs for preventing and treating HIV have significantly extended life expectancies and lowered transmission rates in the HIV-positive community. The bill was signed by Gov.

Jerry Brown signed the legislation last week.

The bill, SB 239 was written by Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria.

According to Wiener, modern medicines allow people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission. SB239 reduces the crime to a misdemeanor, treating HIV like other communicable diseases.

The new bill will come into effect on January 1, 2018, meaning current California laws regarding transmission of communicable diseases will still apply until then.


Now, instead of facing up to eight years in prison, anyone convicted of knowingly transmitting HIV will server a maximum of six months behind bars.

Beginning in the late 1980s and at the height of the HIV epidemic, lawmakers passed several laws criminalizing otherwise legal behaviors of people living with HIV and added HIV-related penalties to existing crimes. Wiener told CNN. "To make people comfortable talking about their infection, get tested, get into treatment".

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. However, other cases that have been noted and already prosecuted where there was no physical contact.

"It's absolutely insane to me that we should go light on this", he added. In 24 states, laws require persons who are aware that they have HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners and 14 states require disclosure to needle-sharing partners.

Wiener said they are going to end new HIV infections, and that they will do so not by "threatening people with state prison time, but rather by getting people to test and providing them access to care".

Republican state Sen. Joel Anderson, who also voted against the bill, called the legislation irresponsible.

"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 kind of normalcy, it should be a felony", said Sen. Who wants to decriminalize exposing others to HIV, but criminalize using the wrong personal pronoun.



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