Monday, 18 December, 2017

Exposing Others To HIV Will No Longer Be A Felony In California

Melissa Porter | 10 October, 2017, 04:07

The senator also argued that the law discouraged people from getting tested for HIV in the first place because they could not be charged with a felony for exposing someone to the infection if they were never tested in the first place.

According to state senator Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria, the bill's authors, modern medicine allows people who suffer from HIV to live longer lives, and that it almost eliminates the possibility of transmitting the virus.

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

"It will really advance public health and reduce stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV have suffered".

Both the American Medical Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America have publicly condemned laws criminalizing HIV.

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

"It's just more scare tactics by people who oppose all LGBT civil rights and protections", he said in a statement last month. People with lethal communicable diseases have always been treated specially - quarantine or exile was their fate in the past - and few diseases have been combated with such alacrity and vigor as AIDS.

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

Wiener noted the previous law didn't require a risk of infection, meaning those on HIV medication could still be charged with a felony and convicted regardless of their treatment status. Criminal penalties are meant for more for violations that expose a patients to risk of death or serious harm, his office said. The vast majority of the convictions - 90 percent - were for solicitation cases where it was unknown whether any physical contact had occurred.

Republican senator on the bill: 'It's absolutely insane'.

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. Many conservative lawmakers joined him saying it could lead to an increase in HIV infections. Jeff Stone, who opposed the bill, said on the Senate floor.

He said during the debate that "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". Stone, a pharmacist, said that Democrats' arguments about those taking their medication have lower risks of spreading the virus are not so accurate. Those who don't take their AIDS medicine and allow the virus to duplicate are able to transmit the disease to an unknowing partner. "This action keeps California at the forefront in the fight to stop the spread of HIV".

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles.