Home News California lightens penalty for knowingly infecting people with HIV

California lightens penalty for knowingly infecting people with HIV

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HIV-positive persons in the not-so-great state of California will no longer face felony charges for knowingly infecting others, causing many why Governor Jerry Brown would sign such a bill into law in the first place.

The law -which passed state legislature on 9/11 and was signed last week- will now turn a felony infection into a misdemeanor, reducing the previous maximum of eight years to a maximum of six months.

The change was met with open arms by California’s LGBTQ community, who feel the move will destigmatize HIV- though not everyone is convinced.

Many proponents feel the legislative maneuver will increase risky behavior, especially those who are HIV-positive and at-risk for irrational behavior, such as not consistently taking medication to prevent spread of the disease.

According to the Daily Mail, the bill was written by California Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria. 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.”

Prior to the change, transmitting HIV was the only felony sentence for Sexually-Transmitted Disease laws in the state, where doing so is generally only a misdemeanor.

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