California’s HIV Laws

I think by now everyone knows Californians are batshit insane, but this still surprised me:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.

“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Wiener said in a statement. “HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.”

Supporters of the change said the current law requires an intent to transmit HIV to justify a felony, but others noted cases have been prosecuted where there was no physical contact, so there was an argument intent was lacking.

I think what makes HIV different is that it is one of a very few transmittable diseases which is absolutely incurable and results in the death of the recipient in every instance (yes, the anti-retroviral drugs prolong life almost indefinitely nowadays, but without these death is 100% certain; nobody has so far proved immune or recovered on their own).

HIV has been the only communicable disease for which exposure is a felony under California law. The current law, Wiener argued, may convince people not to be tested for HIV, because without a test they cannot be charged with a felony if they expose a partner to the infection.

This says something about the assumed morality of Californians: they would prefer to infect a partner with a deadly, incurable disease than risk being charged with a felony. And the idea that requiring carriers of this deadly, incurable disease to disclose their condition to partners is “treating them like criminals” is a rather interesting interpretation. Presumably the rights of Californians to not be infected with HIV by irresponsible, immoral partners are subordinate to the feelings of those carrying the disease.

The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.

This is stupid, but probably not as serious as it sounds. I have been told that blood banks screen for HIV in batches, meaning people’s blood is combined and the whole lot tested. If it comes up positive they have to bin the whole batch, which would mean the clean blood mixed up in it is wasted. It’s unlikely HIV-infected blood will get through these days: while false positives are common in HIV testing, I understand false negatives are unheard of. Still, that this law is necessary shows there are people out there willing to give blood while knowingly infected with HIV who have a problem disclosing it.

California, eh?

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15 thoughts on “California’s HIV Laws

  1. Every time I think the world has reached peak idiocy, along comes a new peak to surprise me.

    It is of course entirely possible California will infect itself to death before the San Andreas fault gives way, so perhaps Brown et al are gambling on a sort of gentler, kinder end to their world.

  2. Jerry Brown another Kool Aid provider, and no reasonable person would dream of having casual sex with Scott Weiner unless they fully witnessed him having an on the spot AIDS test by an independent doctor immediately prior to shagging him.

    http://static.adweek.com/adweek.com-prod/wp-content/uploads/files/blogs/scott-wiener-hed-2016.png

    The Dead Kennedys had it so write all those years ago, in a similar fashion to how the Clash have also proven to have done so in the fullness of time.

    The only thing that they may have underestimated is how far they have come and particularly due to Scott’s herculean accomplishments in their war against gender.

    In hindsight maybe a change to their lyrics to “your kids will transgender at school” would have been more accurate.

    California Über Alless
    Dead Kennedys
    I am Governor Jerry Brown
    My aura smiles and never frowns
    Soon I will be president
    Carter power will soon go ‘way
    I will be Führer one day
    I will command all of you
    Your kids will meditate in school
    Your kids will meditate in school
    California Über Alles
    California Über Alles
    Über Alles California
    Über Alles California

  3. Looks like haemophiliacs need to boost their identity up the Ladder of Grievance. As a group they’ll never get anywhere in public life just with a mere medical condition.

  4. On a date or at a sex party, I like to pull my loaded Uzi out of my pants and spray lead around the room. I know there is a really serious risk that someone could be killed or disabled for life, but the state should stop treating this tendency of mine as a felony. It’s a public health issue, sure, but not a felony.

  5. On a date or at a sex party, I like to pull my loaded Uzi out of my pants and spray lead around the room.

    Heh!

  6. It’s the illegal immigrant issue. Conviction of a felony is supposed to lead to deportation, whilst a misdemeanor does not.

  7. Well it will be treated as a public health issue as now he is making it easier to spread around the public.

    Politicians are as dumb as rocks and California ones seem to be among the dumbest rocks on the planet.

  8. Tim, a couple of stats from me. Firstly, this:

    https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/estimates/riskbehaviors.html

    Far lower than I would ever have imagined. Having straightforward sex with a partner with HIV gives a 4 in 10,000 chance of contracting the virus. I can only believe that stat includes wearing condoms in general.

    Secondly, I understand that from a morbidity and mortality perspective if you are otherwise healthy you would do better to contract HIV than diabetes. The former, if you take your drugs correctly, is these days unlikely to have any impact, whereas the latter will likely lead to some complications and cut a few years off your life.

  9. Far lower than I would ever have imagined.

    Yup, everyone gets surprised by that.

    Having straightforward sex with a partner with HIV gives a 4 in 10,000 chance of contracting the virus.

    Yeah, but this is California. Presumably the law applies to those outside the tiny minority which practice straightforward sex.

  10. Some people do seem to have an innate immunity to (some strains of) HIV:

    I didn’t know that! Cheers!

  11. The answer is simple, you Californian stupids:
    Change the law; Legislate that “not knowing you have AIDS” is no defence against a charge of “Infecting some poor bastard with AIDS”.

    Works for nearly ever other far king law known to mankind.

  12. It’s the illegal immigrant issue. Conviction of a felony is supposed to lead to deportation, whilst a misdemeanor does not.

    Right…California can’t afford to lose any illegal aliens who are knowingly infecting their sex partners with AIDS. Those guys are incredibly valuable.

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