Some New Jersey lawmakers want to make it easier to convict people for not telling sexual partners they're HIV-positive.
A new bill would allow prosecutors to gain access to medical records in cases where the accused did not tell their sexual partner they were HIV-positive.
Lawmakers said this bill would close a loophole that reserves access to medical records only for first-degree criminal cases like murder, rape, and aggravated assault. HIV non-disclosure is a third degree offense.
“Anyone who engages in this kind of irresponsible selfish and reckless behavior needs to know that when they're charged with this third-degree crime in the future,” Assemblyman Jack Ciaterelli said, “the prosecution is going to have additional tools available to prosecute their case.”
Assemblywoman Donna Simon said this bill is an important step to preventing criminal transmission of HIV.
“I’m just shocked and disgusted that a person could act in such a heinous manner possibly infecting other human beings with HIV,” Simon said, “and not sharing this vital information for their consideration is reprehensible and downright criminal.”
The new bill has already been introduced in the New Jersey state assembly and senate. Lawmakers are working to gain support to pass it into law.