Proposed federal legislation would encourage states to repeal statutes that are based on outdated fears, according to a editorial from the Los Angeles Times. The Repeal HIV Discrimination Act of 2013, was introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and would encourage state governments to repeal laws that are based on disproven fears. As the editorial notes, the Center for HIV Law and Policy has documented and monitored dozens of cases in which people have been charged for criminally transmitting HIV by biting or spitting (even though these activities do not transmit), or convicted of failing to disclose HIV status to a sexual partner (even if the virus was not transmitted). HIV criminalization deters people from coming forward for HIV testing and lifesaving treatment, and discourages disclosure. Laws that target people living with HIV are based on fears that have since been disproved by science.
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