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Health: Penalty for consciously exposing partners to HIV lowered in California

Posted by On October 10, 2017

Penalty for consciously exposing partners to HIV lowered in California

As of Jan. 1, 2018, it'll no longer be a felony in California to knowingly expose partners to HIV.

According to CNN, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislature on Friday that lowers the former felony to a misdemeanor.

The law first passed on September 11, the outlet reported.

Prior to the passing of SB 239, those who failed to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners could be punished with up to eight years in prison.

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According to CNN, the new legislation will lower that punishment to a maximum of six months behind bars.

The tweaked law will also lower penalties for knowingly donating HIV-infected blood from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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California lawmakers are hoping to lower HIV cases by making changes to an old bill that required felony charges and major jail time for people who knowingly exposed sexual partners to the infection or donated blood after being diagnosed.

Lawmakers standing behind the bill, namely Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria, expressed a feeling that the original bill was outdated and perpetuated stigmas about people living with HIV.

Wiener noted that the old bill punished HIV positive people on medication, which he called "extreme and discriminatory."

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"The most effective way to reduce HIV infections is to destigmatize HIV," Wiener told CNN. "To make people comfortab le talking about their infection, get tested, get into treatment."

The pair is hopeful that the new bill will encourage more people to get tested.

Many Republicans opposed the bill, saying it could lead to an increase in HIV infections.

Send a Letter to the EditorSource: Google News

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