NY Times: Living With H.I.V. Isn’t a Crime. Why Is the United States Treating It Like One?

“Michael Johnson, a former college athlete convicted in 2015 of not disclosing his H.I.V.-positive status to sexual partners, was released on parole from a Missouri prison last month. Mr. Johnson, who is gay and black, had maintained his innocence, and there was no proof that he had transmitted the virus. And yet that didn’t seem to matter in the court of public opinion, or in the court of law…

Today we also know much more about how difficult H.I.V. is to spread. When used correctly, condoms are highly effective means of prevention. Research has also shown that when people are treated with antiretroviral drugs so that their viral load cannot be detected by standard blood tests, the virus cannot be transmitted to sexual partners. This true of both heterosexual and male same-sex couples. Simply put, scientific evidence on actual harm and transmission does not support the singling out of people living with H.I.V. through the heavy hand of criminal law.”

Read more of Chris Beyrer and Robert Suttle’s Op-Ed in the New York Times.

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