Advocates and Legislators Introduce Bill to Decriminalize HIV in Illinois

Legislation was introduced in Springfield this week to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH), which serve only to stigmatize and discriminate against PLWH.


Senate Bill 655 would end criminal penalties against PLWH by amending the Criminal Code of 2012, repealing the statute creating the offense of criminal transmission of HIV, and make conforming changes in the AIDS Confidentiality Act, the Illinois Sexually Transmissible Disease Control Act, the Illinois Vehicle Code, the Criminal Code of 2012, and the Unified Code of Corrections.

“The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) recognizes that these outdated, dangerous and discriminatory laws disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, Lantinx and other persons of color. To ensure an equitable state for Black and Brown individuals and to promote science-based and proven HIV public health strategies of testing, prevention and engagement in care, it’s essential lawmakers repeal Illinois’ HIV criminalization law. Illinois’ HIV criminalization law is rooted in fear and racial biases, and we certainly know that criminalization increases stigma and harms in marginalized communities,” said Chris Wade, Illinois Public Health Association.

Learn more about Senate Bill 655 here

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