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HIV+? Know Your Rights

HIV+? Know Your Rights

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A comprehensive list of laws concerning HIV transmission, broken down state by state, was made available Wednesday by the Center for HIV Law and Policy.

“Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: State and Federal Laws and Prosecutions” also covers military policies and statutes related to the spread of HIV.

"In the United States there are many shocking cases of persons being prosecuted for otherwise-legal conduct solely based on their HIV status," said Rene Bennett-Carlson, CHLP's managing attorney, in a press release. "This singling out of people with HIV for arrests and punishment without consideration of the responsibility of all parties in a sexual relationship, the actual risk of HIV transmission, and whether transmission even occurred is based on intolerable ignorance about HIV. These laws and prosecutions have no positive impact whatsoever on HIV infection rates or risk behavior."

The manual points out specific cases of extreme punishment doled out to HIV-positive people, including an Iowa man with an undetectable viral load who was forced to register as a sex offender after a single sexual encounter—in which he used a condom.

The list can be downloaded at HIVLawAndPolicy.org.

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