In the case of the laws around blood donation, research has shown that the law was probably never enforced and likely did little to enhance the screening measures that already exist to identify sources of infected blood.
It's also important that people who know they are HIV infected not knowingly infect others through sexual contact.
A 2011 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Justice found that 33 states had a total of 67 laws 'explicitly focused on persons living with HIV'. The current law, Wiener argued, may convince people not to be tested for HIV, because without a test they can not be charged with a felony if they expose a partner to the infection. Twenty-five states criminalize one or more behaviors that pose a low or negligible risk for HIV transmission.
"The most effective way to reduce HIV infections is to destigmatize HIV", Sen. These laws vary as to what behaviors are criminalized or result in additional penalties.
California made it a felony to KNOWINGLY expose someone to HIV or KNOWINGLY concealing HIV infection when donating blood. "A lot of what was behind this was basically looking at the laws to see how we could improve public health and modernizing these laws, so HIV is treated the same". "It's time for California to lead and to repeal these laws to send a clear signal that we are going to take a science-based approach to HIV not a fear-based approach". These organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of people living with HIV in California.
Supporters pointed out that the knowing or intentional transmission of any other communicable disease in California, including some potentially deadly ones like SARS, Ebola and tuberculosis, is a misdemeanor crime. Wiener's bill would put HIV and AIDS in the same category.
The bill, SB 239, which was approved by the Democrat-controlled state legislature in September and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, will lower the charges for these acts from a felony to a misdemeanor when the law goes into effect in 2018.
According to Wiener, modern medicines allow people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission.
It was authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). "Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals". State Sen. Joel Anderson [R-Alpine], a critic of the latest bill, said there could be harsher penalties for knowingly spreading other infectious diseases.