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US: Man living with HIV arrested in Florida for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Man arrested in Tallahassee for transmission of HIV
December 14, 2018

Man arrested in Tallahassee for transmission of HIV

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – A Quincy man has been arrested after investigators say he knowingly had sex with a victim without telling them he had HIV.

Anthony Thomas, 38, was arrested on Wednesday.

According to a probable cause document, the Tallahassee Police Department was called to the Apalachee Center on Oct. 1. When officers responded, staff told them that Thomas had sex with another person at the facility.

Staff told police that they were concerned because Thomas is HIV positive.

Both men denied having sex initially, but Thomas eventually confessed to the sexual acts and said he knew it was wrong.

Documents say that when the Thomas was interviewed by investigators, he said that he understood that he could have transmitted HIV to the victim and understood that it was illegal. However, he said the sex was, “spur of the moment.” 

Based on the evidence, Thomas was arrested for criminal transmission for HIV/AIDS, which is a third degree felony. As of Thursday, he remains in the Leon County Detention Facility.

Published on December 13, 2018 in WTXL

Jamaica: Legislation to criminalise wilful or reckless HIV transmission recommended by parliamentary committee

Parliamentary Committee Recommends Legislation Criminalising Wilfull HIV Infection
December 14, 2018

Parliamentary Committee Recommends Legislation Criminalising Wilfull HIV Infection

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – People who knowingly infect others with HIV could face criminal prosecution if the government accepts the recommendations of a parliamentary committee established to review several pieces of legislation including the Sexual Offences Act and  Offences Against The Person Act.

The Joint Select Committee, chaired by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, acknowledged that there was a deficiency in the law in relation to the deliberate spreading of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

It noted that while such an offence exists in other jurisdictions, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, the Offences Against the Person Act should be amended to make it a criminal offence for someone to wilfully or recklessly infect a partner with a sexually transmissible disease which can inflict serious bodily harm.

But, the parliamentary committee has decided against making any recommendations to change the laws relating to forced anal sex and incest for fear of inadvertently overturning legislation outlawing buggery.

The committee discussed the possibility that forced intercourse with a woman could attract penalties as harsh as a life sentence, while forced anal penetration was not treated with the same level of gravity under Jamaican laws.

The recommendations made were for the penalties to be the same as forced penetration of the anus given that the committee felt it was just as traumatic as forced vaginal penetration.

However, the committee decided against expanding the definition of rape to reflect this.

The committee also contemplated whether forced anal penetration should be treated as an element of grievous sexual assault, which would be punishable by life imprisonment.

But, the committee decided not to make a recommendation on the issue because it was advised that any attempt to differentiate between forced anal sex and consensual anal sex could be seen as an amendment to the laws relating to buggery.

The committee was of the opinion that the changes could result in the buggery laws losing the protection of the Savings Law Clause, which maintains pre-independence laws – this would mean the buggery laws would be open to challenge in court.

The parliamentary committee also made no changes in relation to incest involving males for the same reason and recommended that the laws relating to incest should be gender neutral since the crime could be perpetrated by a male or female.

The committee said such matters should be decided on by the parliament.

Published on December 12, 2018 in The Gleaner

Canada: Case of HIV non-disclosure adjourned while Northwest Territories prosecutor seeks information on viral load, as per new Federal directive

New HIV guidelines could clear Nunavut man of sexual assault charges
December 14, 2018

New HIV guidelines could clear Nunavut man of sexual assault charges

Bobby Kaotalok charged in Yellowknife with having sex with a woman and not disclosing that he’s HIV positive

A recent federal directive could have an impact on a Nunavut man who’s facing charges for allegedly not disclosing that he has HIV to a sex partner.

Bobby Kaotalok is charged with aggravated sexual assault for allegedly having sex with a woman in Yellowknife in August and not disclosing his status. He appeared in N.W.T. Territorial Court in Yellowknife on Tuesday, and the case was adjourned until February. Kaotalok has not entered a plea in the case.

It’s illegal for an HIV-positive person to have sex with someone and not disclose their status, if the incident poses a realistic possibility of transmitting the virus.

However, a new directive by Canada’s attorney general, which went into effect Dec. 8, issues new rules for what federal prosecutors should consider a “realistic possibility.”

The directive tells prosecutors not to pursue charges against people who have suppressed viral loads, which is the measurement of a virus in the bloodstream (i.e. under 200 copies of the virus per millilitre of blood).

It also encourages prosecutors to “generally” avoid pursuing charges if people were taking their drug treatment as prescribed, even if their viral load did not stay below that level.

The Northwest Territories’ chief federal prosecutor Ian Mahon said the Crown is waiting on more information from Kaotalok’s defence team, including possible details about whether Kaotalok’s viral load was too low to transmit the virus at the time of the alleged sexual encounter.

That information “will determine whether or not we proceed on the charges,” Mahon said.

“We’re going to follow the directive, of course,” he said. But “if something untoward happens or unexpected happens, I want to have all options available.”

The directive also tells prosecutors to consider laying non-sexual charges if it better aligns with the situation. For example, prosecutors could lay a charge of negligence rather than aggravated sexual assault.

Mahon confirmed that after receiving additional information from the defence this could be considered.

History of not disclosing HIV

This isn’t the first time Kaotalok has faced criminal charges for failing to disclose his HIV-positive status.

In 2011 he was accused of having sex with multiple women without disclosing. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault, and was sentenced in 2013 to three-and-a-half years in prison.

 

 

According to the judge’s sentencing at that time, Kaotalok did not consistently take his medication, which worsened the state of his infection and increased the risk of spreading the disease. With one of the women, he was wearing a condom, but with the other, it was unknown whether a condom was worn.

The new prosecutorial guidelines also encourage prosecutors not to pursue charges when a condom is used.

Kaotalok’s attorney, Jay Bran, declined to comment on the new prosecutorial guidelines or whether they might affect his client’s case.

The guidelines apply only to federal prosecutors, who only handle cases such as these in the three territories.

Scientific evidence shows that people with undetectable, or extremely low, viral loads do not transmit the disease to others. People may be able to maintain undetectable viral loads if they regularly take their anti-HIV medication.

Published on December 13, 2018 in CBC News 

Kenya: Five people living with HIV file petition at the High Court in Nairobi to declare HIV criminalisation law unconstitutional

Overturn law criminalising deliberate transmission of HIV, say petitioners
December 14, 2018

Overturn law criminalising deliberate transmission of HIV, say petitioners

Five people living with HIV have petitioned the judiciary to declare unconstitutional a law that makes it illegal to transmit the virus and other sexually transmitted infections.

The petitioners said the law makes it almost criminal for HIV-positive people to marry and for women living with the virus to give birth and raise children.

The petition targets Section 26 of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalises intentional transmission of HIV even among married couples.

Those found guilty can be jailed a minimum 15 years or for life.

“Thousands of discordant couples and breastfeeding mothers living all over Kenya run the risk of being arrested and charged under this provision if they come forward for HIV testing,” said M.A, the fourth petitioner representing discordant couples.

The petition was filed at the High Court in Nairobi on Monday with the help of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids.

“The key to a successful HIV response and ending Aids is making sure everyone with HIV knows their status and gets on treatment. These laws make that impossible,” the petitioner said.

A growing global consensus amongst experts and institutions such the World Health Organisation and Unaids show that laws criminalising HIV transmission weaken the ability of governments to end the Aids epidemic.

The sexual offences Act section 26 says: “any person who, having actual knowledge that he or she is infected with HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease intentionally, knowingly and willfully transmits it… is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less 15 years but which may be for life.”

Kelin boss Alan Maleche said this is one of the worst HIV criminalization laws in the world.

“This petition will not only safeguard the rights of those living with and affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections but also help alleviate the discrimination and stigma they face and help Kenya remain on track in achieving the 2020 UNAIDS Fast Track targets in ending Aids,” he said yesterday.

In 2015, the High Court declared section 24 of the HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act unconstitutional.

The section also criminalised intentional spread of HIV, instituting a maximum jail-term of seven years with the option of a fine.

Nelson Otwoma, the Director at the National Empowerment Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, said HIV criminalization laws are also notorious for abuse and arbitrary enforcement.

“Such abuse will always be targeted at persons living with, vulnerable to or believed to be living with HIV whether or not their actions were culpable and whether or not their actions exposed another to the risk of contracting HIV,” he said.

Published on December 13, 2018 in the Star

US: Q & A with Sen. Scott Wiener, one of the authors of Senate Bill 239 that modernised HIV criminalisation law in California

Successful HIV Criminalization Reform in California: Q and A with Sen. Scott Wiener
December 13, 2018

Successful HIV Criminalization Reform in California: Q and A with Sen. Scott Wiener

The majority of states have laws that criminalize activities engaged in by HIV-positive people that are not criminalized when engaged in by the rest of the population.

Many of these laws improperly single out HIV over other infectious diseases and reflect a lack of understanding of both how HIV spreads and how it can be treated.

In 2017, California passed legislation which modernized and improved California’s HIV criminalization law. One of the authors of the law was State Senator Scott Wiener. I recently had a chance to ask Sen. Wiener some questions about that process.

His responses are given here in hopes of supplying useful information for legislators, lobbyists, and activists in other states who are interested in starting the reform process in their own states or other jurisdictions around the world. This interview has been edited for clarity.

Mark Satta: You sponsored and helped author California Senate Bill 239, which in 2017 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senate Bill 239 modernized HIV criminalization in California. Can you give us a brief overview of what California HIV criminalization law looked like before the passage of this new law and what the major changes are that passage of the new law brought about?

Sen. Scott Wiener: In the late 1980s and early 1990s, California, like many states, adopted very harsh felonies to punish HIV-positive people who engaged in sexual activity with other people without disclosing their HIV status.

California has a catchall misdemeanor for willfully exposing someone to an infectious disease, which has been on the books for many years. But HIV, of all the many serious, deadly infectious diseases, was singled out for especially harsh felony treatment. The laws didn’t require you to transmit HIV, and in fact didn’t even require any meaningful risk of infection. So if you were virally suppressed, for example, or if the other person was on PrEP, or if you were engaging in sexual activity that really didn’t create much of a risk, under the old laws, it didn’t matter. They were very broad, draconian laws.

There was one law specific to sex workers where there didn’t even have to be physical contact. If [a sex worker] solicited someone without telling them they were HIV-positive, even if they never actually had sex, they were guilty of a felony. The new law converts sex worker felonies into misdemeanors.

It was really women, and in particular African American women and sex workers, who were targeted. And really, the laws did nothing to actually reduce HIV infections — all it did was stigmatize people with HIV and encourage people to hide their status.

So they’re just terrible, horrible laws and that’s why we tried to reform them.

Satta: In writing the bill, what were the major sources of information that you and Assembly member Gloria consulted to determine the ways in which California’s criminalization of HIV failed to accord with our scientific and medical understanding of HIV/AIDS?

Sen. Wiener: Part of [our information was] based on data on how you reduce and eliminate HIV infections, and the whole concept of getting to zero, which I’m very familiar with. You do it by encouraging people to get tested regularly so they know their status, and then if they do test positive, they quickly go on medication to become virally suppressed. And the people who are negative have access to all preventative tools, including PrEP.

So when you criminalize and single out people with HIV, it encourages people not to get tested. Because if you don’t know your status then you can’t be guilty of a crime. It encourages people to be very secretive about their status. And being secretive about your status undermines public health. That’s not how you get people tested or into treatment. You want people to feel comfortable being very open about their status. So that was the bedrock of the science we relied on.

If our goal is to prevent HIV infections, to keep people negative, and to keep positive people healthy, we must do that through a public health approach, not through a criminalization approach. Criminalization does not reduce HIV infections — in fact, it does the opposite.

We also had plenty of data on who was being targeted by these laws. It was targeting specific demographics. So even if one were to believe that criminalization somehow reduces infection—which it doesn’t— why would almost half of arrests and prosecutions be of women when they’re only 12 percent of the HIV-positive population? We also worked extensively with a broad coalition that included many public health organizations, physicians, and people who really understand the science.

Satta: In advocating for the bill in the California state senate, what messages and information resonated most strongly with your colleagues?

Sen Wiener: It depended. When you explained about how criminalization doesn’t reduce infections, for a certain segment of colleagues, that was enough. But what really resonated with others was that HIV was being treated differently than other infectious diseases, and more harshly. I had one colleague—a moderate Democrat from a pretty conservative district—and I was not sure if we would get her vote. When I talked to her about it and told her that HIV was being treated differently, as a felony, while other infectious diseases were a misdemeanor. She said to me, “Wait, you’re telling me that Ebola and TB are a misdemeanor, but HIV is a felony, and you want to move HIV into the same category as TB and Ebola?” And I said, “Yes.” And she said, “That’s all I need to know. Whenever I’m asked about it, that’s how I’ll answer.” And she voted for the bill.

 Satta: What advice would you give activists and legislators in other states or jurisdictions who are interested in advocating for legislative reform around HIV criminalization?

Sen. Wiener: First, build a very, very strong and broad coalition. The endorsement list for SB 239 was pages long. It included every reputable civil rights organization, public health organization, LGBT organization, immigrant organization — I mean, everything. You look at these incredibly well-respected organizations ranging from the ACLU, to Planned Parenthood, to respected healthcare advocacy organizations, and even before you delve into the facts, you say, “Look: if all these groups are supporting this, this is a bill I’m supporting.” This is especially true for Democrats.

Because of that broad coalition, lobbying for the bill was incredibly impactful. As an author, that made my life a lot easier. I talked to almost every member of the legislature about the bill one-on-one over the course of the year, but having the coalition aggressively lobbying made a big difference.

Then, really talk to legislators, colleague to colleague. Lots of people have this reaction where they think that if someone is trying to infect someone, they should be guilty of a felony. But you have to talk to them about the notion of the sociopath trying to infect people. Does that happen? Yes, but it’s extremely rare, and those are not the people being prosecuted under these laws.

You also have to indicate that this is a priority for LGBT civil rights organizations. That was very powerful, too. Equality California made the bill its number one priority of the year. For a number of Democrats, this is very compelling. Democrats, in California at least, want be on the right side of LGBT issues. And even though HIV goes beyond the LGBT community, obviously, there’s an enormous overlap.

Also, educate the reporters who are going to cover potential legislative reform. What we found was that there were a couple of publications in California—the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee in particular—that had reporters who really got it. For a number of other publications it was more hit and miss. And even when you had a good reporter, the editors would put clickbait headlines on. So other than some really good articles in the Bee and the Chronicle, we were never able to get accurate coverage. It would always be sensationalist. The headline would be something like, “Bill Proposes Making it Not a Felony to Intentionally Infect Someone with AIDS.” The Los Angeles Times was unfortunately notorious for clickbait headlines like that, which really flamed people up. We even got to the point where we did a call in and we invited the press just to talk about the basic facts of the bill and it didn’t work. So, before you even start you need to identify the reporters likely to report on this, sit down with them, and try to educate them about the facts.

Mark Satta is a 2018-2019 Petrie-Flom Center Student Fellow. 

Published on December 11, 2018 in Bill of Health

Kazakhstan: 28-year-old man arrested and facing charges of alleged HIV transmission

В Темиртау начался суд над мужчиной, заразивший ВИЧ четырех женщин
December 11, 2018

Trial of a man who has infected four women with HIV has begun in Temirtau

(Google translation)

The defendant faces article 118 part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV / AIDS), committed against two or more persons”. In addition, he is also charged with fraud.

“The criminal case was filed by Judge Yerzhan Tastanbekov. The process is closed. Defendant, we really judge several times. In addition to being infected with HIV, he is accused of several episodes of fraud, ”the court press service reported.

Recall that a 28-year-old resident of Temirtau infected four women with HIV. The man knew about his HIV status, but he intentionally entered into unprotected sex with the victims. He got acquainted with his victims through social networks. All victims up to 30 years. One of the victims, who is only 19 years old, was raped by a man. She first contacted the Center for the Control and Prevention of AIDS in the Karaganda region for medical and psychological assistance. Center staff reported this fact to the police. Thanks to this, the police managed to establish the identity of the HIV-infected person and detain him. He is now under arrest.

Published in December 11, 2018 in KP.Kz

————————

В Темиртау начался суд над мужчиной, заразивший ВИЧ четырех женщин

Подсудимому грозит статья 118 часть 3 УК РК «Заражение вирусом иммунодефицита человека (ВИЧ/СПИД), совершенное в отношении двух или более лиц». Кроме того, его также обвиняют в мошенничестве.

«Уголовное дело поступило в производство судьи Ержана Тастанбекова. Процесс закрытый. Подсудимый, действительно неоднократно судим. Кроме заражения ВИЧ он обвиняется в нескольких эпизодах мошенничества», – сообщили в пресс-службе суда.

Напомним, что 28-летний житель Темиртау заразил ВИЧ-инфекцией четырех женщин. Мужчина знал о своем ВИЧ-статусе, но намеренно вступал с пострадавшими в незащищенный половой контакт. Со своими жертвами он знакомился через социальные сети. Всем пострадавшим до 30 лет. Одну из пострадавших, которой всего 19 лет, мужчина изнасиловал. Она первая обратилась в Центр по борьбе и профилактике СПИД Карагандинской области за медицинской и психологической помощью. Сотрудники центра сообщили о данном факте в полицию. Благодаря этому полицейским удалось установить личность ВИЧ-инфицированного и задержать его. Сейчас он находится под арестом.

[Update] Italy: Rome appeal court reduces 24 years sentence by only 2 years for man accused of alleged HIV transmission

22–year term for man who spread HIV
December 11, 2018

22-year term for man who spread HIV

Two-year reduction for man accused of infecting 32 people

(ANSA) – Rome, December 11 – Rome’s appeal court on Tuesday gave Valentino Talluto, a man accused of infecting 32 people with HIV, a prison term of 22 years. The sentence was two years shorter than the one handed down at the first-instance trial.

The appeals court ruled that in four cases there were doubts about whether Talluto had committed the crime.

Published on December 10, 2018 in Ansa

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Italian man who intentionally infected more than 30 women with HIV jailed

‘His actions were intended to sow death,’ prosecutor says

An Italian man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for intentionally infecting more than 30 women with HIV.

Police believe 33-year-old accountant Valentino Tullato infected 32 of the at least 53 women he dated after discovering he was HIV-positive in 2006 and continuing to have unprotected sex.

Women who testified at Tullato’s trial described being seduced, often after meeting on social media, and then being convinced to have unprotected sex. They recounted Tullato saying he was allergic to condoms or had tested negative for HIV, according to AFP.

The prosecution and defence clashed over whether Tullato had deliberately infected his partners, with Tullato’s attorney saying he “did not intentionally seek to transmit the virus”.

Talluto himself reportedly said he did not mean to hurt the women, many of whom “know my friends and family”.

But prosecutors argued that he denied responsibility and sought to inflict harm.

“His actions were intended to sow death,” prosecutor Elena Neri was quoted as telling the court last month.

Judges reportedly deliberated for more than ten hours before announcing their verdict, which fell short of the life sentence prosecutors had sought

Published in the Independent on October 27, 2017

————————————————————————————

Life sentence asked for Italian who “knowingly infected women with HIV”

ROME, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Rome prosecutors have requested a life sentence for an HIV-positive man who knowingly infected 30 women through unprotected sex, local media reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors also asked he should be placed in daytime solitary confinement for two years.

Rome native Valentino Talluto, 32, is charged with malicious epidemic and aggravated bodily harm for knowingly infecting the women with the virus from when he discovered he was HIV positive in April 2006 through Nov. 23, 2015, the day prior to his arrest, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Intentionally causing an epidemic by spreading a pathogen is punishable with life in prison in the Italian criminal code.

Talluto has reportedly plead ignorance of the risks of HIV infection. The man, who met most of his alleged victims online, is also charged with the secondary infection of an eight-month-old baby, who was born with brain damage “caused by the HIV-positive state contracted from the mother during birth”, according to prosecution papers cited by ANSA.

Investigators have discovered a total of 57 incidents of unprotected sex, but believe Talluto may have directly or indirectly infected more people who have not turned to authorities, according to ANSA.

Published on XinhuaNet on Oct.18, 2017

[update]Kazakhstan: Man living with HIV sentenced to five years in prison in Astana for alleged HIV infection

Астанчанина подозревают в намеренном заражении ВИЧ трех человек
December 10, 2018

Astana resident sentenced to five years for infecting people with HIV infection

An appeal has been filed against the court decision

A court in Astana sentenced a man to five years in prison for infecting several people with a human immunodeficiency virus, Zakon.kz reports citing the press service of the city court.

The defendant was sentenced to five years in prison under part 3 of Article 118 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (“Infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV / AIDS)”.

An appeal was sent to the court decision. Currently, the case is considered in the appropriate instance of the city court.

A man intentionally infected several people with a virus.

Published on December 11, 2018 in Kazon Kz

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Житель Астаны осужден на пять лет за заражение людей ВИЧ-инфекцией

Пока на решение суда была подана апелляция.

Суд в Астане приговорил мужчину к пяти годам лишения свободы за заражение нескольких человек вирусом иммунодефицита человека, сообщает Zakon.kz со ссылкой на пресс-службу городского суда.

Подсудимый был приговорен к пяти годам лишения свободы по части 3 статьи 118 Уголовного кодекса РК (“Заражение вирусом иммунодефицита человека (ВИЧ/СПИД)”.

На решение суда была направлена апелляция. В настоящее время дело рассматривается в соответствующей инстанции городского суда.

Мужчина намеренно заразил несколько человек вирусом.

 ————————————————————————————————–

Astanchanin suspected of intentional HIV infection of three people (google translation, for article in Russian, please scroll down)

“When we establish HIV infection, the doctor informs the patient. During the conversation, the patient signs a document that will not knowingly infect anyone with the infection and spread the disease. If he intentionally infects someone, then a criminal case will be initiated. We have a suspicion that one of our patients infected three people. He denies his guilt. He is now taken into custody , ”said Sabit Abdraimov, head doctor of the city center for the prevention and fight against AIDS. According to Sabit Abdraimov, people who are intentionally infected with HIV often do not bring the case to court. “Many people do not go to court, they are afraid of publicity, the destruction of the family. They think they will hurt their children, ”the head doctor added.

Published on November 27, 2018 in 24.Kz
____________________

«Когда устанавливаем ВИЧ-инфекцию, доктор сообщает об этом пациенту. В ходе беседы пациент подписывает документ о том, что сознательно никого не будет заражать инфекцией и распространять болезнь. Если же он намеренно заразит кого-то, то будет возбуждено уголовное дело. У нас есть подозрение, что один наш пациент заразил трех людей. Он отрицает свою вину. Сейчас он взят под стражу», – сообщил главный врач городского центра по профилактике и борьбе со СПИД Сабит Абдраимов. По словам Сабита Абдраимова, люди, которых намеренно заразили ВИЧ, чаще всего не доводят дело до суда. «Многие люди не идут в суд, боятся огласки, разрушения семьи. Думают, что причинят боль своим детям», – добавил главврач.

Kenya: Mombasa man living with HIV arrested and charged for having sex while being aware of his status

Mombasa man in trouble for intentionally infecting lady with HIV/AIDS
December 5, 2018

Mombasa man in trouble for intentionally infecting lady with HIV/AIDS

A Mombasa man is in trouble after he was accused of deliberately infecting a woman with HIV/AIDS. Bernard Otieno was arraigned on Tuesday, December 4, after he was accused of committing the heinous act in Mishomoroni within Mombasa county on November 17.

Charges against him indicated he willfully and intentionally had sexual intercourse with his accuser with full knowledge that he was sick. If the complainant’s allegations prove to be true, Otieno could face up to 15 years behind bars in accordance with the Sexual Offences Act. 

The suspect was consequently slapped with a KSh 500,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount, with the case set to be heard on December 20.

The question of sexual offences has been a heated topic particularly in Parliament, with leaders divided on what should be the most effective form of punishment for such offenders. Majority leader Aden Duale at one point called for the castration of men found to have committed sexual acts such as defilement and deliberately spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). 

Published on December 4, 2018 in Tuko

US: Missouri lawmakers and health professionals call for a reform of scientifically outdated HIV criminalisation laws

Lawmakers, health officials push Missouri HIV law rewrite
December 2, 2018

Lawmakers, health officials push Missouri HIV law rewrite

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some Missouri legislators and public health professionals are calling for a rewrite of the state’s HIV laws, which they say are outdated and medically inaccurate.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Republican Rep. Holly Rehder and Democratic Rep. Tracy McCreery proposed bills in the last legislative session to reduce the state’s penalties for exposing someone to HIV. They plan to present the same bills in the 2019 session.

Missouri’s roughly 30-year-old law states that an HIV-positive individual could be convicted of a felony if he or she exposes a partner to the disease without the partner’s knowledge or consent. The law gives a minimum 10-year sentence for transmitting HIV and minimum five-year sentence for knowingly exposing someone to HIV.

Advocates say such laws result in questionable prosecutions and negative public health outcomes.

Published in Fox2Now on December 1, 2018

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