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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.

Back to other news for September 2011

Adapted from:
Michigan Messenger
09.28.2011; Todd A. Heywood

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Rep. Lee Introduces Groundbreaking Anti-HIV Criminalization Bill's Just Diagnosed Resource Center
Telling Others You're HIV Positive
More on U.S. Laws/News Regarding HIV Disclosure

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