To: Rhode Island Legislative Committee Members
Re: Public Testimony on House Bill 5245 Hearing
Date: February 24, 2015
Positive Women’s Network-USA, a national member body of women living with HIV, opposes H5245. This proposed bill stands in stark contrast to contemporary medical and scientific knowledge of HIV prevention, treatment, and transmission. This HIV-specific law codifies HIV-related fear and hysteria- sentiments that are based on unfounded and outdated medical knowledge. H5245 creates unnecessary burdens that are unique to people with HIV, and creates an impediment to public health efforts to increase awareness around knowing one’s HIV status and accessing care and treatment if living with HIV. Most important, there is zero evidence that laws like H5245 actually reduce HIV transmissions. H5245 should be opposed by all who care about ensuring the public health in Rhode Island.
I am available to answer questions or provide further information.
Executive Director, Positive Women’s Network-USA
HIV Criminalization Bill in Rhode Island, Letter to Rhode Island General Assembly’s House Committee on Judiciary, By Positive Justice Project, February 24, 2015
State Lawmaker Targets People With HIV With Bill To Criminalize Exposure, By Zack Ford, Think Progress, February 24, 2015