Our HIV Criminalization Christmas Gift

Big NEWS happened yesterday for those of us who are advocating for changes to HIV criminalization laws, and Sean Strub is all over this one!

So, yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed, 84-15, the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act, including 2 provisions that have high importance to the HIV and LGBT communities — and particularly vital for advocates and activists hoping for HIV legislation changes imperative to protect the rights of those of us living with HIV.

A big win was a simple provision and change that was added to the bill from within the U.S. House, before it passed the bill a few days ago. It maintained language from H.R. 1843 (REPEAL HIV Discrimination Action) that mandates the Secretary of Defense to organize a report for Congress regarding our soldiers that have HIV or viral hepatitis.

Sean Strub has been all over this issue and writes:
“The report is to include a description of policies “addressing the entlistment or commissioning of individuals with these conditions and retention policies, deployment policies, discharge policies, and disciplinary policies regarding individuals with these conditions” and an assessement of whether these policies “reflect an evidence-based, medically accurate understanding” of how these conditions are contracted, transmitted to others and the risk of transmission.”

The President should sign the bill by Christmas Day.

Click here to read the rest of this milestone, and yet quiet, news in our quest to change antiquated HIV criminal transmission laws.