California lawmakers have passed a bill to make punishments for intentionally infecting someone with HIV the same as for other communicable diseases.
The state Senate voted Wednesday to send SB239 to the Assembly. It would make knowingly exposing someone to HIV a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Under current law, if a person who knows they have HIV has unprotected sex without telling their partner about the disease they can be convicted of a felony and face years in jail.
Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco who authored the bill says the current law is a relic of the decades-old AIDS scare and unfairly punishes HIV-positive people based on outdated science.
It is a misdemeanor to intentionally transmit any other communicable disease including potentially deadly diseases like hepatitis.