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

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Anderson said the answer could be to extend tougher penalties to those who expose others to other infectious diseases.

"It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status", the bill reads.

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. Twenty-five states criminalize one or more behaviors that pose a low or negligible risk for HIV transmission.

The change is welcomed by the LGBTQ community as a step forward in the destigmatization of HIV, but opponents are concerned that the reduced sentence will increase high risk behavior and the spread of the disease. In fact, there were cases where the state prosecuted people that had no physical contact with an HIV-free person.


Senator believes law before enaction of SB 239 forces HIV patient to create an environment where they're not ready for the test.

CNN reported that Senator Jeff Stone, who voted against the bill said that 'If you don't take your AIDS medications and you allow for some virus to duplicate and show a presence, then you are able to transmit that disease to an unknowing partner, ' on the California Senate floor.

People who intentionally exposed others to HIV were punished with up to eight years in prison under the current law, and the new bill will lower that jail time to a maximum of six months. "Fundamentally, HIV is a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem, and it needs to be treated this way". Those convicted can spend up to seven years in prison if found guilty.

Is is no longer a felony in California to knowingly expose your sexual partners or potential blood recipients to HIV.


Knowingly transmitting other communicable diseases, including other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and hepatitis, are charged as misdemeanors under California state law.

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.

Individuals infected with HIV can almost eliminate the possibility of transmission if the patient is effectively treated. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria to fight against the "outdated" California law.


The bill enjoyed support from Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a coalition of several organizations, including the ACLU of California, whose mission is to replace the "stigmatizing laws that criminalize HIV status".

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