Policy & Politics
Rep. Lee Submits Legislation to End HIV Criminalization
September 29, 2011
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Sept. 23 that seeks to "eliminate discrimination in the law for those who have tested positive for HIV." Lee's office said the bill addresses "the serious problem of discrimination in state criminal and civil laws against those who test positive for HIV." It would create "incentives and support for states to reform existing policies that use legal authority to target people living with HIV for felony charges and severe punishments for behavior that is otherwise legal or that poses no measureable risk of HIV transmission." Thirty-four states and two territories have HIV-specific criminal laws. "Laws that place an additional burden on HIV-positive individuals because of their HIV status lag far behind the medical advances and scientific discoveries in the fight against the epidemic," Lee said. "The decriminalization of HIV/AIDS is one way we can reduce stigma in our communities, while fighting the epidemic in a rational, holistic and truly rights-based fashion." The "Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal HIV Discrimination Act," ("REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act"), is HR 3053.
09.28.2011; Todd A. Heywood
Day 2 of the Women's HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Leadership Summit: How to Work With Media Outlets and HIV Criminalization 101
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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