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Unreal: It’s No Longer a Felony in California to Knowingly Donate HIV-tainted Blood

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that lowers the punishment for people who knowingly donate HIV-infected blood.

The law also applies to LGBT persons who knowingly expose a sexual partner to HIV without telling them.

SB 239 changes both from a felony to a misdemeanor, meaning the penalty has been reduced from up to eight years in prison to a maximum sentence of six months.

Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Todd Gloria, coauthors the legislation, argued that modern medicine has changed the lifespan of HIV-infected persons and nearly eliminates the chance of transmission.

“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Wiener said in a statement. “HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.”

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