Our latest at EBONY: "Rep. Barbara Lee Explains the Criminalization of HIV and Why You Should Be Concerned."
In more than 60 nations it is a crime to expose another person to or transmit HIV. The United States has reportedly led the world with “thousands of prosecutions”, according to United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Thirty-four states and two territories criminalize exposure and/or transmission of HIV. Some laws penalize having sex without revealing serostatus to partner—regardless if a condom were used or the virus was transmitted. Other laws criminalize spitting or biting—which pose little threat of HIV transmission.
And new research shows that Black men have been disproportionately singled out for prosecution.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced the landmark "REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act" which calls for the review of all federal and state laws and regulations regarding "the criminal prosecution of individuals for HIV-related offenses."
"Many of these laws were enacted before people understood how HIV was transmitted," Rep. Lee told EBONY in an exclusive interview. Lee is the co-chair of the newly formed Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. "They are archaic and they don’t reflect current scientific research."