Virginia Could Be The First State In The South To Decriminalize HIV Transmission

A proposed law in the state of Virginia would repeal the state’s criminalization of the transmission of HIV and would end the “crime” of donating blood or body tissue while having HIV or the hepatitis B or C viruses.

Senate Bill 1138 “repeals the crime of infected sexual battery,” as exposing or transmitting HIV it is currently classified as under the law. If passed, it would end Virginia’s tenure as one of 37 states that criminalizes people living with the virus.

State senators Mamie Locke (D) and Jennifer McClellan (D) introduced S.B. 1138 on January 13. It has passed the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee, read on the Senate floor, and is currently under consideration by the full Senate body.

In a press release, McClellan — a candidate for Virginia governor — stated that “living with HIV should not be a crime.