California Lawmakers Pass Legislation Reducing Penalty for Knowingly Exposing Sex Partners to HIV

The California state capitol building in Sacramento is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The California state capitol building in Sacramento is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

State lawmakers on Monday gave final legislative approval to a bill that would reduce from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.

SB 239, which now goes to the governor, was introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who said the current law discriminated against those who have human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, the precursor to AIDS, because exposure to other communicable diseases is a misdemeanor.

The same reduction in crime level would apply to people who donate blood or semen without disclosing that they have tested positive for HIV or AIDS.

“Right now HIV is singled out for uniquely harsh treatment as a felony,” Wiener told his colleagues during the floor debate.

Read the full story on LATimes.com