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llinois Repeals HIV Criminalization Law

 Posted on September 02, 2021 in Criminal Law

wheaton defense lawyerCivil rights groups are celebrating Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker for signing a number of measures into law designed to expand the rights of the LGBTQ community. These include updating insurance laws to include LGBTQ families, same-sex marriage guidelines, and repealing the controversial criminal transmission of HIV law. Before the recent change, individuals with HIV could face criminal charges for exposing others to the virus. 

Criminal Transmission Of HIV

State lawmakers passed the law in the 1980s, the height of the AIDS scare. However, critics have since argued that the law was misguided and criminalized those living with HIV. Under the previous law in the Illinois Criminal Code, you could be charged with a Class 2 felony if you knew you were HIV positive and you had sex without wearing a condom, gave blood, or simply bled on another person. If convicted, you could face up to seven years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Many critics argued individuals living with HIV faced the threat of prosecution even if they did not transmit the disease to another person. 

Now that the governor signed House Bill 1063, lawmakers say they are modernizing Illinois state law. They argued the law did nothing to decrease HIV infection rates and instead increased stigma against those living with the disease. State Sen. Robert Peters, a Democrat from Chicago, called the law “outdated, dangerous, and discriminatory” because it made the infected live in fear of legal consequences for “simply living their lives."

What HB1063 Also Does

In addition to the repeal, HB 1063 also amends the Unified Code of Corrections, so the state’s attorney no longer has the ability to request the results of an HIV test, which was relevant to prosecute a criminal transmission of HIV charge. 

The bill also amends the AIDS Confidentiality Act, so HIV-related info can no longer be released if you disclose such details. They say the repeal will ensure HIV is treated like other medical conditions. With HIV criminalization behind them, the Illinois HIV Action Alliance and lawmakers are hoping to move forward with the “Getting to Zero” plan. The goal is to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030. State Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, said she hopes the effort helps end the “long history of inaction and cruelty regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a sex crime or other crime of bodily harm, contact an experienced DuPage criminal defense attorney now. Stephen A. Brundage, a former police officer, has served his community with his law practice for over three decades. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 630-260-9647.



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