Science Battles Politics in Growing State-by-state Debate over HIV Felony Charges

“It’s not easy to get people to agree with science,” said Bruce Richman, executive director at the Prevention Access Campaign, an organization that seeks to provide the public with accurate information about HIV exposure. “It conflicts with their long, deeply held beliefs about transmission risks.”

HIV activist Professor Carrie Foote, a founding member of Prevention Access Campaign and U=U said: “It shouldn’t matter how liberal or conservative your state is. It has to do with the fact that we have a health epidemic,” she said. “We have a public health issue. In this case, states are using the state law in an unwarranted way to treat a health issue, where there’s no evidence that works. … [HIV] criminalization has a unit effect, a family effect, and it has a ripple. It negatively affects all of us.”