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California Lowers Penalty For Knowingly Exposing Partners To HIV

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State Sen. Scott Wiener

While it's true that AIDS no longer is an automatic death sentence, it's still deadly. In 2014, the past year with statistics, there were only about 6,700 deaths attributed to HIV. He argued it puts the public at risk.

Last year, legislators approved organ transplants between HIV positive people in a reversal of an earlier decision aimed at limiting the spread of the disease. Besides, HIV already is treated like all other serious infectious diseases, is it not? We are going to end new HIV infections, and we will do so not by threatening people with state prison time, but rather by getting people to test and providing them access to care.

Although some praised the bill, many others shared their concern over it, saying that such legislation would inevitably increase the risk of HIV infections.

The majority of laws identified for the analysis were passed before studies showed that antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces HIV transmission risk and most do not account for HIV prevention measures that reduce transmission risk, such as condom use, ART, or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially announced that people who are on regular viral load suppression medication can not transmit HIV to their partners, as it is maintained at undetectable levels.

In both cases, the crime - which can potentially impact others for the rest of their lives - is now a misdemeanor. He added that without the test they can not be charged with a felony if they expose a partner to the infection.

"State law will no longer discourage Californians from getting tested for HIV", said Asm.

The statutes that the new laws revise date back to the late 1980s, when AIDS had emerged as a public health crisis in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and NY. Intentionally donating blood or infecting a partner with any other STD is a misdemeanor.

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Knowingly transmitting other communicable diseases, including other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and hepatitis, are charged as misdemeanors under California state law.

That requirement that sex workers get HIV tested after convictions will be abolished when the provisions in the bill take effect.

Brown declined comment on his action.

Jerry Brown has signed legislation that reduces the penalty for intentionally exposing some to HIV.

The senator also argued that the law discouraged people from getting tested for HIV in the first place because they could not be charged with a felony for exposing someone to the infection if they were never tested in the first place.

Individuals infected with HIV can almost eliminate the possibility of transmission if the patient is effectively treated.

The authors of the bill, Democratic Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Democtratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria of San Diego, noted the advances in treatment that have changed what being HIV positive means in the modern day.

"Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals", Sen.

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