Changes to HIV criminal laws divide advocates and experts

ATLANTA (AP) — In about 20 states, it’s a crime for people with HIV to have sex without first informing their partner of their infection.

But advances in viral suppression now make it effectively impossible for a person with the proper medical treatment to transmit the disease.

North Carolina and Michigan recently exempted HIV patients from prosecution if they are on medication that has suppressed their virus.

But many advocates for HIV patients say the new policies create an underclass of people who don’t have access to drugs and are therefore still vulnerable to prosecution.

They say states should instead decriminalize HIV exposure altogether unless the person intends to infect someone.

Defenders of the laws say HIV is still a threat to public health.

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