Lawmakers pre-file HIV criminal code bills

1 year 9 months 3 weeks ago Monday, December 03 2018 Dec 3, 2018 Monday, December 03, 2018 3:58:00 PM CST December 03, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Ethan Illers, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, and staff members for Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis, pre-filed bills intended to update the state's outdated HIV-specific criminal codes, as well as to improve public health laws concerning addiction and needle and syringe access.

According to a news release, Missouri is one of 32 states with laws that criminalize HIV exposure. These laws include criminalizing transmission of HIV through saliva, although the virus cannot be spread that way. Because of this, many people shy away from getting tested for HIV.

"The Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Justice have both said HIV specific laws deter people from getting tested," Rehder said. "It really gets down to the 'he said, she said' where it's very difficult for [these departments]. It's a very gray area."

HIV laws haven't been re-written since the 1980s, the peak of the HIV epidemic. Because the law hasn't been revisited, lots of gray areas remain. 

"Right now, the way that our law is written, I think we're kind of dis-incentivizing people to even know their status if they have HIV or not," said Emily O'Laughlin, administrative assistant to McCreery. "If we reduce the punishment associated with those laws, I think that it would empower a lot of people to know their status and thus you have the chain of reaction of when you know you're infected [you can treat yourself in many ways]. It will impact the state as whole because a lot more people would, hopefully, be willing to learn their status. 

Rehder and McCreery's bills intend to modernize HIV laws in the last legislative session. Both bills received favorable feedback from the Health and Mental Health Committee and will be brought forward once again in 2019.

"The bottom line is we want people to get tested, know their status and get treatment," Rehder said. "The Department of Justice, along with many other national health organizations called for states to reform their HIV specific laws many years ago because they run counter to public health best practices." 

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the first woman in American history to lie in state... More >>
27 minutes ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 8:25:00 AM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
CPS parents and advocates want CPS to fully follow IEP guidelines Some CPS parents and special needs advocates said... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 5:00:00 AM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Mizzou Tigers will play the football season opener against Alabama, Saturday. Mizzou announced it is sold... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 4:11:00 AM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. government has put the first Black inmate to death since the Trump administration... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 9:02:53 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Some CPS parents and special needs advocates said CPS hasn't fully complied with Individualized Education Program (IEP) guidelines.... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:39:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The circuit court system has had to make some major adjustments in the last few months to meet... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:38:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson said he and his wife Teresa Parson are fine after their positive COVID-19 test... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 7:00:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, R, discussed the open Supreme Court seat and the possible next stimulus package with... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 6:51:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 20-17, activating the Missouri National Guard Thursday afternoon. The... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 6:33:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - At Thursday's UM System Board of Curators meeting, UM President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi said the university's... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 5:57:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is taking a different approach to solving the 2019 investigation involving the remains of... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 5:52:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services revised its guidelines for long-term care facilities that choose to... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 5:19:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia and Boone County Public Health and Senior Services officials said they have seen a decrease in demand... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 4:59:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
ALTON, Mo. (AP) — A judge has ordered Missouri to sell part of nearly 4,200 acres of land it bought... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 3:28:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia police were dispatched to Passions Adult Boutique Thursday around 12:05 a.m. after a suspect demanded money while displaying... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 3:14:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Two additional individuals have been arrested for their role in the May 2017 homicide. During the 2017... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 1:47:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The UM Board of Curators voted to name the new center for Race, Citizenship and Justice after former interim... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 1:21:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
(AP)- Hospitals in Missouri’s third-largest city are approaching capacity due to a continuing surge of coronavirus cases. The Springfield... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:43:00 PM CDT September 24, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
9am 62°
10am 67°
11am 72°
12pm 76°