I sometimes forget about AIDS as it never comes into the news much, except for Africa, and there I thought the US was helping Africa get control of the AIDS epidemic. But we have forgotten about our own problems. Amazing that you can get treatment in Africa, but evidently not in Tennessee. In Tennessee a person is sentenced to the Sex Offender list for being HIV positive. I came across this blog, Criminal HIV Transmission from the HIV Justice Network.
From the Knoxville News Sentinel, June 2009
[The woman] differs from most of the 525 other known prostitutes arrested in Knox County over the past five years in one significant way: she is HIV-positive. [Her] medical condition means that when she turns tricks for a living she’s committing a felony called aggravated prostitution. Women without HIV face misdemeanor prostitution charges that often add up to no more than probation and a fine. [She] is a repeat offender, having been convicted twice of being an HIV-infected prostitute before she was arrested a third time early this year, records show. Despite the fact that she’s never been accused of any type of sexual assault, her criminal history already means she must register as a sex offender under state law and follow many of the same restrictions as rapists and child molesters.
US Conference of Mayors has asked to decriminalized AIDS. Read this.
“WHEREAS, nearly all HIV-specific criminal laws do not consider correct and consistent condom use and effective antiretroviral therapy that reduces the risk of HIV transmission to near-zero as evidence of a lack of intent or ability to harm; and behaviors that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have negligible risk of transmitting HIV, such as spitting and biting, have resulted in sentences as long as 35 years: and – “
Time for our legislators to actually research the law before just passing law in reaction to opinion.