Ariz. Rep. Lela Alston (D-Phoenix) has proposed HB2218, a bill that would make it a felony to intentionally expose others to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Alston explained that she wrote the bill after she heard about a woman in her district who had contracted an STD from a man who did not inform her of his infection. According to Alston, this behavior constitutes criminal intent.View Full Article
The bill would make it a Class 6 felony for an individual who knows he or she is infected with HIV or one of eight listed STDs to intentionally expose others to the disease. The bill would also redefine exposure to include engaging in sexual intercourse or sodomy; selling or donating tissue, organs, or bodily fluids; and sharing needles or syringes. Ariz. Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales (D-Tucson), who is a primary sponsor of the bill, commented that it is important for the bill to "cover other things that are not yet protected or that we're not holding people accountable (for)," as individuals are also transmitting diseases in ways other than sexual intimacy.
Comment by: Aaron Laxton
(St. Louis, Missouri)
Fri., Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm EST
All of these Criminalization laws and efforts are grounded in a belief that criminalizing exposure or transmission will somehow reduce rates of new infections, this simply is not true. We know that this is not true and that there is no evidence to support this idea. Sadly enough there are currently 34 states and 2 US territories that have similar criminal statutes in place. Missouri, my home state, has some of the most rigid in the country. This politician is simply introducing something that will give the appearance of action. The advocates and activists of Arizona need to rise up and let their voices be heard before this draconian law is put into place.
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