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Jerry Brown Signs New HIV Legislation
The law previously punished people who knowingly exposed or infected others with HIV by up to eight years in prison, but this new legislation will lower jail time to a maximum of six months. The new law also reduces the penalty for knowingly donating HIV-infected blood from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Bill sponsors Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria, both Democrats, argued California law was outdated and stigmatized people living with HIV, especially given recent advancements in medicine. Evidence has shown that a person with HIV who undergoes regular treatment has a negligible chance of spreading the infection to others through sexual contact.
“The most effective way to reduce HIV infections is to destigmatize HIV,” Wiener told CNN. “To make people comfortable talking about their infection, get tested, get into treatment.” Because the previous law.
Wiener said by destigmatizing HIV, the bill would encourage people to get tested, which will in turn lower HIV transmission in the state.