California Assembly Votes to Repeal HIV Criminalization Laws

7 September 2017

The California Assembly voted Thursday to reduce the penalty for intentionally exposing someone to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor. Existing laws discriminate against people with HIV, the virus that causes the immune system-weakening disease AIDS, supporters of the change said. The bill, passed 44-13, would treat HIV like other communicable diseases under California law. Between 1988 and 2014, at least 800 people were arrested, charged or came into contact with the criminal justice system related to their HIV according to a study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles. The study found that HIV criminalization laws disproportionately affected women and people of color.

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