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.