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Testimony in Opposition to An Act Related to Criminal Offenses - Criminal Transmission of HIV

GLAD AIDS Law Project Director and Senior Staff Attorney Ben Klein testified February 24 in opposition to Rhode Island H 5245, An Act Related to Criminal Offenses - Criminal Transmission of HIV, saying such a law, if enacted, would "undermine public health efforts to prevent HIV and will actually increase HIV transmission."

You can read Klein's full testimony here.  

An excerpt follows:

"GLAD opposes H 5245, a law that criminalizes failure to disclose HIV status, because leading medical and public health authorities agree that such a law will undermine public health efforts to prevent HIV and will actually increase HIV transmission.

We all share the goal of stopping HIV transmission. Rhode Island has been a leader in adopting successful tools to curtail the spread of HIV. Those measures include increasing HIV testing, ensuring access to HIV antiviral medications that drastically reduce the likelihood of transmission, adopting laws providing for access to clean syringes, and operating an effective partner notification program. H 5245, however, will not only fail to have any impact on HIV transmission, it will actually increase HIV transmission by undermining these proven public health measures.  

For this reason, there is a consensus among the nation’s leading medical and public health organizations that HIV criminalization laws, such as H 5245, are harmful to the public health."

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