California Dems are at it again! Knowingly exposing someone to a serious disease should not be taken lightly. California, of course, wants to lower the punishment and treat this inhumane act as a lower misdemeanor. A case can be made that the felony punishment is largely how the spread was controlled in the first place. Until HIV is eradicated, this has to be taken as serious as it truly is!
California’s governor, Jerry Brown, on Friday signed a law that lowers the penalty for exposing partners to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor, which includes those who donate blood without informing the center about their HIV status.
“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Sen. Scott Wiener, D.- San Francisco, told The Los Angeles Times.
Exposing a person to HIV was treated more seriously under California law than infecting someone with any other communicable disease, a policy some lawmakers said was a relic of the decades-old AIDS scare that unfairly punishes HIV-positive people based on outdated science.
Under the old law, if a person who knows they are infected with HIV has unprotected sex without telling their partner they have the virus, they can be convicted of a felony and face years of jail time. Intentional transmission of any other communicable disease, even a potentially deadly condition like hepatitis, is a misdemeanor.
“These laws were passed at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic when there was enormous fear and ignorance and misinformation around HIV,” Wiener earlie said. “It’s time for California to lead and to repeal these laws to send a clear signal that we are going to take a science-based approach to HIV not a fear-based approach.”
Republican lawmaker, Sen Joel Anderson, reportedly voted against the bill. “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,” Anderson said, according to the paper.