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Knowingly exposing someone or blood supply to HIV no longer a felony in California

Knowingly exposing someone or blood supply to HIV no longer a felony in California

How many must die for political correctness?

This is one of those stories that just has me shaking my head.

While it’s true that AIDS no longer is an automatic death sentence, it’s still deadly. In 2014, the last year for which I could find data, 6,721 died directly from AIDS, and there are tens of thousands of new infections.

That’s why the Red Cross prohibits people with HIV from donating blood, and screens blood donations:


You should not give blood if you have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test, or if you have done something that puts you at risk for becoming infected with HIV.
You are at risk for getting infected if you:
  • have ever used needles to take any drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by your doctor
  • are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, in the last 12 months
  • have ever taken money, drugs or other payment for sex
  • have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone described above

While screening donated blood helps, it’s also important that people who know they are infected not donate, because if infected blood never enters the blood donation system, that’s the best prevention.

It’s also important that people who know they are HIV infected not knowingly infect others through sexual contact.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, many states criminalized the knowing exposure of other to HIV:

An analysis by CDC and Department of Justice researchers found that, by 2011, a total of 67 laws explicitly focused on persons living with HIV had been enacted in 33 states.3 These laws vary as to what behaviors are criminalized or result in additional penalties. In 24 states, laws require persons who are aware that they have HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners and 14 states require disclosure to needle-sharing partners. Twenty-five states criminalize one or more behaviors that pose a low or negligible risk for HIV transmission.

The majority of laws identified for the analysis were passed before studies showed that antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces HIV transmission risk and most do not account for HIV prevention measures that reduce transmission risk, such as condom use, ART, or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The analysis encouraged states with HIV-specific criminal laws to use its findings to re-examine state laws, assess the laws’ alignment with current evidence regarding HIV transmission risk, and consider whether the laws are the best vehicle by which to achieve their intended purposes.

It should be noted that all states have general criminal laws—such as assault and battery, reckless endangerment, and attempted murder—that can and have been used to prosecute individuals for any of the above-mentioned behaviors.

California made it a felony to KNOWINGLY expose someone to HIV or KNOWINGLY concealing HIV infection when donating blood. But not anymore.

In March 2017, a bill was introduced to lower the criminal categorization:

Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener has proposed Senate Bill 239 to repeal the laws, saying they do not reflect current HIV medical practices, and have not helped stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

“We’re very serious about this reform, and moving away from this criminalization model around HIV and going to a more public health approach,” Wiener said. “Fundamentally, HIV is a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem, and it needs to be treated this way.”

California law says it’s a felony for an HIV-positive person to have unprotected sex without informing their partner that they are infected. It is also a felony for HIV-positive people to donate blood, body organs or other tissue. Those convicted can spend up to seven years in prison if found guilty. Another law upgrades a misdemeanor for prostitution to a felony if the person charged has HIV or AIDS.

Knowingly transmitting other communicable diseases, including other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and hepatitis, are charged as misdemeanors under California state law. Wiener’s bill would put HIV and AIDS in the same category.

Governor Jerry Brown just signed the bill into law. The L.A. Times reports, Knowingly exposing others to HIV will no longer be a felony in California:

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.

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

Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

“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.

State Senator Weiner is quite happy with this achievement.

The internet is not quite as happy.

Twitchy pointed to this NY Post article about an infected man who deliberately exposes others:

Other reactions, including mine:

[Featured Image: CBS News]


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CaptScientist | October 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Mexico we will pay you to take back these idiots…..This is just over the top stupid

    carabec in reply to CaptScientist. | October 9, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I believe those with Hepitias are barred from donating Blood! I also believe that Govenor Brown has a goal of emptying California. I am questioning his sanity and that of the Fruits and Nuts who support him.

      Mannie in reply to carabec. | October 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

      We are, as well as anyone who was in the UK during the “Mad Cow” outbreaks. I’m disqualified on both counts. Even though I believe that the risk of transmission at this stage is trivial, I obey the guidelines.

Does all blood donated in California stay in California, or does it enter the nationwide distribution pool?

Mindless and potentially deadly virtue-signaling like this needs to be quarantined to California.

    A great question. We’re already paying for California’s fiscal irresponsibility with our tax dollars; paying for their dangerous “progressive” lunacy with our lives is another matter altogether.

      4th armored div in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      we need to federalize this crime and when a donor is HIV positive gives blood, that blood should ‘EXCLUSIVELY’ be given to others of the same disease or to no one –
      this donation is a terrorist act and jerry should be held liable for it as well as KaleeFourkneeahns.

      There must be a lawsuit brought IMMEDIATELY challenging this willful spread of disease – where is the CDC ???????

    JPL17 in reply to Amy in FL. | October 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Sorry for the accidental down-ding that won’t let me delete it! (I really HATE that feature of this comments section!)

    What I was hoping to say before my accidental down-ding was this: We now need labeling in our blood supply. I, for one, only want blood that’s labeled:


      Morning Sunshine in reply to JPL17. | October 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      For years we have talked about creating a “family blood bank” where we know everyone’s blood types so that if a donor is needed we can appeal to the family. I think it is time to make that a reality – quit talking and actually get it done.

    Mannie in reply to Amy in FL. | October 9, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I believe that blood is shared across state lines, if necessary. It is fungible, and has a short shelf life. But I suspect that California may be barred from providing blood to sane states.

Another weiner. Just what we need.

This isn’t really about ‘political correctness.’ What it’s really about powerful gay men like weiner to be able to plow whomever without worrying about the consequences of damning their unknowing sex partner to a lifetime of expensive medical care and at the same time, turning the unwitting partner into a sexual pariah. Intentionally infecting someone with HIV should carry a 50 year prison sentence.

This is much like hollywood’s apparent embrace of pedophiles – under the guise of ‘progressive thinking’ – when it’s really about powerful pedophiles in hollywood wanting cover for their pedophile acts and desires.

Good job, weiner. Are you related to that other weiner in NY?

“How many must die for political correctness?”

This move by California to downgrade an act of intentional harm, one that could lead to death, is PC on the culture war.

All those horrendous Rules of Engagement that are forced on US fighting forces are nothing but PC-ness. Those issued by Obama were the most compromising.

As McArthur put it, “In war there’s no substitute for victory.”

When can the USA rightly say it’s achieved victory post-WWII?

Sen. Scott Wiener also authored a recent California law that criminalizes a willing refusal to address a nursing home patient with the patient’s “preferred pronoun”.

I wouldn’t live in California even if you gave me a Malibu beachfront house and all the wine I could drink for life …

INAL, so could one of the lawyers here explain why a person intentionally infected by someone with HIV can’t sue for negligence?

Thanks in advance.

    A victim could.

    But that’s like a rapist whose only legal consequence was a civil lawsuit. When the rapist victimizes another person, the civil lawsuit wouldn’t have done much good to have prevented subsequent rapes by the rapist.

    This law is insane, and merely powerful gay men infected with HIV or Hep C wanting their jollies at the expense of other men’s lives.

    Remember: HIV can cause cancers and other opportunistic infections, warranting great punishment against the abuser who infected an unwitting partner.

    At that point, money from an negligence lawsuit isn’t going to mean much to you – or a rich perv who negligently infected you and many others.

    So what would you rather have, HIV and a lot of money from a legal case, or no HIV?

    rustyshamrock in reply to rinardman. | October 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Or assault, or attempted murder.

    MadisonS in reply to rinardman. | October 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Even if one prevails. what assets are there0 to satisfy the judgment. As far as I know there is no such thing as HIV transmission insurance to pay the claim.

    Albigensian in reply to rinardman. | October 9, 2017 at 9:50 am

    It’s also no remedy against someone with no assets and little income. To sue such a person you’d probably have to pay for your own legal representation (because a lawyer would be a fool to take it on contingency, and who wants a fool for a lawyer?). With little or nothing to be gained from such a lawsuit, even if you prevail, mostly you’d just be punishing yourself.

Maybe Weiner should be exposed … and then lets see if he’s of the same opinion.

Faggot hunting season is coming.

    What a vile comment. Bring that shit around my family and you’ll be fed to the hogs.

    Mark Mathis, you’re a bigot and a creep. But never fear, I’ll make another donation to my local #PinkPistols … in you name. xoxo

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Mark Matis. | October 8, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    That earns a ban. I’ll leave the comment up as a warning to others.

      I’m not overly surprised to see it, though. It’s a truism that the criminal justice system isn’t there to protect us from the criminals; it’s there to protect the criminals from us, because we don’t run prisons.

      I’d like to ask this CA “lawmaker”: You want vigilantes? Because this is how you get vigilantes: have a legal system, whether written in specific law like his, or by unequal enforcement, that doesn’t put an appropriate consistent sentence on what “a reasonable man” knows is a crime. And once you have vigilantes, you quickly attract people like the banned commenter, who are the definition of unreasonable men, and now have cover to act on it.

        CaptTee in reply to SDN. | October 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        It would surprise me more, if someone intentionally infected with HIV didn’t decide to go after the perpetrator. And then if successful see himself as an undercover (pun intended) crime fighter and go full vigilante.

        I hereby donate all proceeds from the movie rights to the CDC for HIV research.

    pst314 in reply to Mark Matis. | October 8, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    For the sake of all the gays I have known who were good citizens, I’m glad that the troll has been banned.

    Gays who are not zombies of the group-think progressive cult that the likes of weiner and brown belong to, must be incredibly embarrassed – if not incredibly angry – by this lunacy of lawlessness – and threat to the safety of people most at risk: those in the gay community (and possibly Harvey Weinstein.)

A few years before HIV was isolated as the cause of the mysterious illness that was popping up all over the Bay Area, we watched helplessly as a 12-year-old boy died after spending months in our hospital. No one could figure out what was killing him. After HIV was identified, one of the doctors put two and two together and had some of his blood that had been saved tested for HIV. His source of infection? The blood he had received from the blood bank in San Francisco. He had a bowel disease that caused him to bleed, requiring frequent blood transfusions. I will never forget that boy.

    pst314 in reply to JoAnne. | October 8, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    “we watched helplessly as a 12-year-old boy died after spending months in our hospital”
    Negligent homicide. Depraved indifference. Murdered by gay men who did not give a d*mn about the consequences of their actions.

      alaskabob in reply to pst314. | October 8, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      No…. at that time no one knew what was up…. as I note below. However, going forward this is murder… placing prevention not at the source but dumped on those that attempt to safeguard the community…. it is cost shifting the damage to others from those that spread the virus.

        pst314 in reply to alaskabob. | October 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        I realize that at one time nobody knew about HIV, but they did know about other STD’s such as syphilis and gonorrhea, and they knew about the appearance of antibiotic-resistant strains. But they didn’t care.

          Milhouse in reply to pst314. | October 9, 2017 at 4:21 am

          Those are not easily transmitted through blood transfusion.

          pst314 in reply to pst314. | October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm

          Milhouse: Those diseases may or may not be easily transmittable by blood transfusion, but they are relevant to the general issue of criminal recklessness with regard to dangerous infectious diseases. Sex, blood transfusions, food preparation, etc.

          Milhouse in reply to pst314. | October 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

          Gay men in the ’70s were not being reckless, and certainly not criminally so, and you have no right to accuse them of murder. They did not know what we know now, and acted as seemed rational at the time.

      Back in the day, a number of hemophiliacs and others requiring transfused blood products were mysteriously dying, and we didn’t know why. If that had happened in 2017, it would have been a different story.

        pst314 in reply to Amy in FL. | October 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        The most famous I can think of at the moment was Isaac Asimov, who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion during heart surgery.

    alaskabob in reply to JoAnne. | October 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    In 1979 I was rotating through West Seattle General Hospital during a clerkship in Pathology. We had a case of a 30 year old white male with Kaposi’s sarcoma. All the literature dealt with older African males (in Africa) and occasional case with immunosupression although PCP pneumonia was a more common finding.

    AIDS arose at the time of the upswing in Gay Power. By life style and circumstances they were the perfect storm for AIDS… not intentionally but perfect storm. Once it was found that AIDS was in the Gay population it became a political disease, right down to what we could and couldn’t do in the VA system.. even though no one know the full mechanism!!! Thousands have died because of PC correctness.

    We are talking of an incurable disease that can not only shorten life but complicate treatment of other diseases. It can be managed but not cured. To erase the “stigma” the next level of political stupidity is to detach responsibility from the equation. AIDS mutates… what works now may not work tomorrow and there is no magic wand to wave to create breakthroughs.

    In Africa, AIDS is considered the White Man’s best revenge…. self-inflicted population reduction. That this is state sanctioned in California is so sad but so expected.

    Milhouse in reply to JoAnne. | October 9, 2017 at 4:01 am

    In the ’70s, just as the virus was making its unsuspected way through the gay community, blood donation was a big thing in the community as a form of good citizenship. They had blood drives at gay clubs and bathhouses, and were so proud of the contribution they were making to society. Meanwhile penicillin had made VD (as it was still called) no longer something to worry about. Nobody could have known how horribly wrong it would all go.

      pst314 in reply to Milhouse. | October 9, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      The gay people that I personally knew who donated blood, did so to earn cash. Likewise some heterosexual and bisexual young men and women. I don’t know what percentage of such donations were done gratis vs for payment.

nordic_prince | October 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Believe it or not, some homosexuals seek out this kind of stuff – it’s called bugchasing.

    They likely suffer from Munchausen Syndrome. Infecting yourself with HIV is their ‘hip’ way of mutilating themselves, shy of tattooing their face, or racing into sex change operating. (Or all three. Imagine?)

This fits in perfectly with far-left progressive ‘redistributionism’ on many levels. Gay men don’t like condoms so they manipulated the insurance system (and taxpayer-funded single payer schemes like Medicaid and the VA) to give “prophylactic” anti-retroviral drugs to anyone who wants them. The thousand dollars a month is paid for by ‘someone else’ because the drugs have to be ‘free’.

Bug-chasing is common in minority communities because an HIV diagnosis gets you out of the shelter system into an apartment, gets you Medicaid, SSI, walking-around-money and all the drugs you might need to treat your disease. The men who willingly infect folks are ‘gift givers’ and are glorified by Wiener and his pals, these elite gays will do anything to make sure their friends are protected from the long arm of the law.

Had Wiener been around 30 years ago, he’d be on a hunger strike to prevent the closing of the sex clubs and bath houses that made HIV so prevalent in his circle. Unfortunately, the vast majority of gay men of that era can’t tell him what a stupid idea he’s come up with, they are all dead.

    smalltownoklahoman in reply to Chicklet. | October 9, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Bugchasing: That is just disgusting and disheartening to hear about! There’s a practice that needs strong public shaming and discouragement!

CA progressives dream of a no fault state. There have been recent proposals to eliminate bail requirements for low income defendants and even eliminate traffic fines for low income residents. Just what we need, old battered rusted out Datsuns held together by duct tap prowling the freeways.

If I or anyone close to me is infected because of this, I’ll be taking a trip to California.

Does this mean kidnapping someone and removing both of their kidneys should also be a misdemeanour, as they can live the rest of their life on dialysis or get themselves their own kidney transplant? After all, they aren’t definitely going to die because of the kidney removal, right?

Subotai Bahadur | October 8, 2017 at 9:54 pm

1) All other states’ blood banks should cut off all contact with blood banks in California. Giving or receiving.
2) No one who has lived in California since AIDS was discovered should be allowed to donate blood outside California.

If they want to isolate themselves from modern medicine, who are we to stop them? Between Hepatitis-A becoming epidemic due to deliberately ignoring standard public health procedures, treatment resistant TB becoming endemic, and the general belief in California that there are never consequences for anything; Americans need to be able to defend themselves from Californians.

It’s not obvious that downgrading the legal classification of this crime will have any effect on anything at all.

For that matter, it’s not even obvious—without actual data—that criminalizing “knowing exposure” has any effect, either.

It’s illegal to spray rifle bullets into a crowd, too, but there’s little reason to think that the severity of the legal consequences have much bearing on anyone who wants to do it.

    Not a very good analogy.

    Someone about to spray bullets into a crowd has little illusion of going home afterwards.

    But an HIV infected person lying to a sex partner to get a quick jolly just might think twice about a prison sentence looming over their head. And if they do infect someone, they’ll be off the streets for a long, long time.

    Because of this idiot weiner and the equally idiotic jerry brown, the offender will get a misdemeanor citation. (And possible a second citation, for following too closely.)

      You may be underestimating the fundamental problem.

      In the early days, some physicians who happened themselves to be gay noticed some of their patients still participating in gay bath house culture, and, realizing that that was probably a vector of this mysterious disease, tried to get city government to regulate it.

      The immediate hysterical shrieking by the local gay activists killed that pronto.

      The story was (and is) bizarre; it’s difficult for a normal person to comprehend (and by “normal” I mean, not much into death-wishes). They were fighting tooth and nail against efforts to keep them alive. And at that time patients had no chance of survival.

      I think the analogy to gunfire is almost exact.

If you’re in the risk group for developing HIV, you shouldn’t be donating blood, period. Unfortunately, activist groups have made the Red Cross back down from that position while I’m still banned from giving blood because even though it’s been 31 years, I’m still considered at risk for vCJD since I lived in the UK for 2 years in the ’80’s.

    Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | October 9, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Did they ever definitely establish that nvCJD is caused by eating BSE-infected beef? Last I heard the link between the two was still speculative, based on the fact that nvCJD suddenly appeared in the same country where BSE had appeared ten years earlier.

Over all … Sen. Scott Wiener has proven to be a veritable fountain of bad ideas for California. As I’ve always said … “California … first to get the worst.” Fools like Wiener prove it every day and they’ve turned this state into a liberal cesspool that will never be cleaned up.

I just checked the American Red Cross website. They do test each blood donor’s sample for a number of harmful viruses and parasites, including Hepatitis and HIV.

No, that does not make me feel any safer.

smalltownoklahoman | October 9, 2017 at 10:18 am

Grossly irresponsible idiocy by Califailia! I don’t care that the disease is far more treatable now, it can still be an incredibly dangerous and life altering illness, particularly if a person DOESN’T KNOW THEY’VE BEEN DELIBERATELY INFECTED! By reducing the criminality of this act Cali is taking a big gamble with public health because those that might be tempted to spread the disease are now facing far less severe consequences for the act in that state.

I tried very hard to bleed to death after giving birth to my daughter. During the 4 days following her birth, I was transfused with over 300 units of blood and blood products. I cannot begin to tell you how angry it makes me to see decisions like this, when the safety of our blood supply is sacrificed for political purposes. I’m sickened.