With the stroke of a pen California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law. A law that’s one step closer to making it okay to spread the HIV virus.
From felony to misdemeanor
The law changes the penalty if a person with HIV knowingly has unprotected sex (risking their lives) with someone and doesn’t disclose from a felony to a misdemeanor.
The rational is that ‘with effective HIV treatment its next to impossible to transmit the virus’. The key word in that sentence is ‘effective treatment’. HIV treatment is a process. There’s a common misconception that it’s ‘pop a pill a day and the HIV goes away’.
Um no it doesn’t…
It can take months or even years to to find effective treatments depending upon the strand of HIV that a person is infected with.
Then there’s the little publicized fact that drug resistant HIV strands are emerging.
…more than 10% of people who are starting antiretroviral therapy in their country have a strain of the virus that’s resistant to the drugs used to treat it. source World Health Organization
Increasing HIV drug resistance trends could lead to more infections and deaths. Mathematical modelling shows an additional 135 000 deaths and 105 000 new infections could follow in the next five years if no action is taken, and HIV treatment costs could increase by an additional US$ 650 million during this time. source World Health Organization
New law encourages recklessness
One of the biggest deterrents to contracting HIV was and still is the stigma. In many circles having HIV is still a dating death sentence. This law is attempting to remove that stigma. However, it can be argued that the stigma is one of the last remaining forces we have to discourage reckless behavior. Now that a person infected with the HIV virus no longer has to disclose his status HIV might as well become the new common cold.
There’s no cure for HIV. While, thankfully, we have developed more and more effective treatments against HIV it can’t be cured and having HIV is not the cake walk many people think it is. The medicines still have horrible side effects including vomiting, nausea, headache, and more source: national institute of health and science .
The reality is once a person stops treating they die. There are still many people that decide they’d rather die than live under an HIV anti-retro viral regime.
Its not just HIV
With the increased recklessness as demonstrated by this report of lack of condom use we get transmissions of other STI’s. While HIV transmissions are going down thanks to new and improve drugs rates of other STI infections are going up. According to live science:
In 2016, a total of more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States, according to the report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the highest number of cases ever reported for these three STDs combined since the agency began tracking STDs in 1941. source livescience
We’ve spent so much time and effort educating about HIV we forgot about all the other STI’s.
Many gay men have the misconception that because they’re on Prep its okay to have unprotected sex with many partners.
If you think you may have been exposed to an STI but don’t want to go to a clinic you can get an STI Home Test Kits for Men from Amazon.com
California what were you thinking?
There is nothing but sympathy for those with HIV. They are our brothers and sisters and should not be treated as lepers. We can achieve this through increased education. But to suggest that anyone can knowingly expose an innocent person to this horrible virus with little to no consequence is nothing short of lunacy. People have a right to know if they are being exposed to a life changing disease and make the decision for themselves. This law takes away the right of the many to be informed to protect the egos of the few. Good job California.