Urgent Action Required to Fight Unscientific, Stigmatising Nebraska Bill That Will Criminalise Body Fluid Assault on Public Safety Officers
By Edwin J. Bernard
February 1, 2011
This article was cross-posted from the blog "Criminal HIV Transmission."
This Friday, February 4th, the Nebraska State Legislature will debate The Assault with Bodily Fluids Bill which would criminalise striking any public safety officer with any bodily fluid (or expelling bodily fluids toward them) and includes a specific increase of penalty to a felony (up to five years and/or $10,000 fine) if the defendant is HIV-positive and/or has Hepatitis B or C.
The Bill ignores the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through spit, urine, vomit, or mucus; punishes the decision to get tested for HIV; and will not keep public safety officers safer, but rather will reinforce misinformation and stigma about HIV.
1. The proposed language in Sec. 2(3) is contrary to science
2. Codifying the breach of doctor /patient confidentiality in Sec. 2(5) is extremely serious, and should not be undertaken with no public health benefit
PJP asks anyone in the United States who cares about this issue to contact their State representative (using the talking points to highlight the many problems with the Bill) and specifically encourages any networks or individuals in Nebraska to contact:
State Senator Mike Gloor, who introduced the Bill.
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