California lowers penalty for knowingly exposing partners to HIV

California lowers penalty for knowingly exposing partners to HIV

California lowers penalty for knowingly exposing partners to HIV

The new bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, after passing in California legislature on September 11.

The legislation also applies to people who give or donate blood without telling the blood bank they have HIV.

It wasn't all bad news for the new bill - the law was backed by Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), an alliance of organizations that seek to replace "stigmatizing laws that criminalize HIV status". The organization's director of government relations, Aaron Fox, told CNN the new law will see HIV-positive people "treated fairly under California law".

Laws punishing people with HIV began in the 1980s during the height of the AIDS epidemic when fear about transmission was rampant and no drugs were available to treat HIV.

In the case of the laws around blood donation, research has shown that the law was probably never enforced and likely did little to enhance the screening measures that already exist to identify sources of infected blood.

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Knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection will no longer be a major crime in California starting January 1, 2018. The current law, Wiener argued, may convince people not to be tested for HIV, because without a test they can not be charged with a felony if they expose a partner to the infection.

Meanwhile, the Republican lawmakers including Sen.

"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. Joel Anderson of San Diego voted against the bill, arguing it puts the public at risk.

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

Nevertheless, despite a strong opposition from conservatives, the bill was passed. "Leave it to California to make a declining and decadent culture even more declining and decadent".

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Intentionally infecting a partner with HIV will now be considered a misdemeanor, not a felony, in California.

But these types of cases are rare. Brown signed it. It was authored by state Sen.

Instead, the law mostly affected sex workers or those suspected of sex work. Wiener and Gloria, both Democrats, added that given the advances in medicine people who undergo regular treatment has a negligible chance of spreading the infection to others through sexual contact. Consequently, HIV activists argued that some people resisted getting tested for HIV. Women made up 43 percent, though they represent only 13 percent of the HIV-positive population in the state.

"The critical word in this is 'intentionally, '" Anderson said in September. "It was in this felony solicitation".

Recent studies have found that compliance with medication schedules all but eliminates the risk of transmission of HIV. San Francisco, told The Los Angeles Times.

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