UTAH: State House Panel Advances Republican Bill That Would Criminalize Non-Disclosure Of HIV+ Status

Ben Winslow reports for Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate:

A bill that requires someone to disclose their HIV or AIDS status before engaging in any sexual activity or face a criminal penalty has passed a House Committee. Rep. Justin Fawson’s House Bill 369 passed out of committee Friday morning over objections from the ranking Democrat on the committee and an LGBT rights group. In an interview with FOX 13, Rep. Fawson said his bill would enhance the penalties if someone engaged in sexual activity with someone and did not disclose if they had HIV or AIDS.

“It doesn’t criminalize HIV, it only criminalizes the act. So if someone’s HIV positive and they disclose, there’s no problem,” Rep. Fawson, R-North Ogden, told FOX 13. “There’s always a potential of transmitting HIV. We can’t reduce that to zero. They have to inform a partner that they are HIV positive.” LGBT and AIDS support groups have expressed concerns that HB369 “criminalizes” people with HIV and would drive people away from testing, treatment or even disclosure.