Arizona Politician Wants to Jail People Who Expose Others to HIV

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com January 29 2013 6:46 PM ET

An Arizona legislator introduced a bill that would make it a felony to intentionally expose someone to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Lela Alston, a Democrat serving in Arizona's House of Representatives, was inspired to introduce the bill after a constituent described to her how she was unknowingly infected with an STD. If passed, Alston's bill would make it a felony to intentionally infect someone through sex, organ donation, or needle sharing. The legislation, referred to a judicial committee, is already gaining sponsors in the House.

Many bills such as Alston's were passed in the '80s and '90s, but later repealed. Many legal scholars find such bills dubious since it's difficult to prove that someone intentionally infected another person with a disease.

“They’re very difficult to prosecute,” legal scholar Veda Collmer told Cronkite News. “It would be hard to meet the burden of proof.”