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California Lawmakers Want To Repeal HIV Criminalization Laws

  

(AP) - Some California lawmakers want to repeal laws passed at the height of the AIDS epidemic that they say unfairly punish HIV-positive people based on outdated science.

Several gay lawmakers are promoting a bill that would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to intentionally expose someone to HIV. The change would treat HIV like other communicable diseases under California law.

Sen. Scott Wiener said Wednesday that his bill, SB239, would also repeal laws that increase penalties for prostitution if the sex worker tested positive for AIDS in connection with a previous conviction.

The San Francisco Democrat said modern treatments dramatically reduce the effects of HIV and chances for transmission, but current laws deter people from getting tested and seeking treatment.