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HIV is still deadly; willingly exposing someone to it ought to remain a felony

HIV is still deadly; willingly exposing someone to it ought to remain a felony
HIV-infected T cell. (NIAID)

To the editor: The primary purpose of the California law making it a felony to knowingly expose someone to HIV is to discourage evil and criminal behavior and to protect the innocent. ("Having unprotected sex without telling partner about HIV-positive status no longer would be a felony under new bill," March 17)

Let's be clear: HIV is still a death sentence. Yes, science has done a remarkable job of extending life spans, but HIV-positive people still can expect to die years before the uninfected. And the drugs have their own issues and side effects. Don't ask about cost. There is still no cure — you've got it for life.

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State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) claims the law that he seeks to revise criminalizes being HIV-positive and stigmatizes carriers. That's dishonest. It criminalizes those who, with full knowledge and disregard for the other person, expose them by concealing the fact.

Let's change the name. Suppose it was polio or bodily fluids from an ebola victim. Would you consider that criminalizing the disease or the carrier?

Until a cure is found, we must do everything to stop the spread of HIV. That's the priority, not Wiener's feel-good sop. He should be ashamed.

Michael Gorman, Glendale

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