The Corner

Politics & Policy

Intentionally Risking HIV Transmission Now Misdemeanor in CA

Leave it to California to grow ever more radical and accepting of dysfunctional and anti-social behavior.

It used to–and should–be a felony to knowingly risk HIV transmission without telling one’s sexual partner in California. No more. From the LA Times story:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.

And get this!

The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.

What can possibly justify such a radical reduction of penalty for such dangerous and selfish behavior? (Yes, I know they test blood, but that’s irrelevant to the profound wrongness of the act.)

Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

Good grief. People still die of AIDS, even with drugs. Moreover, not all people take their anti-virals, and another moreover, putting another person at risk of having to engage a lifetime serious drug regimen is unconscionable.

And this is really infuriating:

“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Wiener said in a statement. “HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.

People who live with HIV and meet their responsibilities toward others with whom they interact are not treated as criminals.

But to knowingly decide that one’s own desires matter more than the right of a partner to decide yes or no to potentially risky behavior, or to potentially risk the blood supply, deserves more than a slap on the wrist. 

Leave it to California to make a declining and decadent culture even more declining and decadent. 

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