A bill that was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday has everyone talking. While the government claims it is doing this with good reason, could any reason be good enough to justify this?
The bill I am referring to above is known as SB239, it covers both those who are infected and has unprotected sex with someone who does not know their HIV status with the intent to infect them as well as those who attempt to donate blood or anything of the sort knowing they have this disease. Up until now, these things have been felonies as they should be but because of this bill, they have been dropped down to misdemeanors.
Those who infect others on purpose can no longer get up to six years in prison, now they are given a mere slap on the wrists for murder with the maximum sentence being roughly six months in a county jail. According to those pushing the bill, because of more recent advancements in medicine the stigmatism surrounding those living with HIV needs to change. That of course, is under the guise everyone would be able to seek out the best treatments which is without a doubt quite unrealistic.
Scott Wiener told CNN that destigmatizing HIV, the bill would encourage people to get tested, which will, in turn, lower HIV transmission in the state. He says that because evidence shows people with HIV who undergo regular treatment have extremely low chances of spreading their infection on through sexual contact. Wiener also refers to the old laws as extreme and discriminatory.
One of those who was in opposition to this bill, Republican Sen. Joel Anderson stated the following on this matter:
“I’m of the mind that if you purposefully inflict another with a disease that alters their lifestyle the rest of their life, puts them on a regimen of medications to maintain any kind of normalcy, it should be a felony. It’s absolutely crazy to me that we should go light on this.”
In my opinion, there could only be one case per year of someone being infected through the intentional distribution of the disease and it would still be more than enough reason for it to be a felony. How in the world did this get passed and what do you think about it? Are you for or against these new laws?