Sunday, 25 September 2011

REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act

Edwin J Bernard's ever excellent blog highlights the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act, that was introduced to the House of Representatives on Friday by Congresswomen Barbara Lee - a Democrat from California.  The full Bill can be downloaded from Edwin's blogpost here.  Edwin writes that: 'Thirty-four states and two U.S. territories now have laws that make exposure or non-disclosure of HIV a crime. Sentences imposed on people convicted of HIV-specific offenses can range from 10-30 years and may include sex offender registration even in the absence of intent to transmit HIV or actual transmission. Though condom use significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission, most HIV-specific laws do not consider condom use a mitigating factor or as evidence that the person did not intend to transmit HIV.'

The Bill has garnered support from a  number of campaigning organisations but it will be interesting to see how it does in the House (where there is a Republican majority).  Whatever, the eventual outcome for this proposed legislation, it is well worth reading for anyone interested in HIV/criminalisation issues.

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