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Is Criminalizing HCV Transmission on the Horizon?

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Back when AIDS was the hot thing in the news, 33 states passed laws making it illegal for HIV-infected people to have sex without their partner’s knowledge of the individual’s HIV status. However, efforts to repeal these laws have gained momentum in recent years due to the fact that HIV is no longer considered a fatal disease.

In a surprising twist of fate, some of these efforts to repeal resulted to the broadening of these laws to include viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and meningitis. One such state to implement this in 2014 is Iowa and the latest to attempt Hepatitis C- specific legislation is South Dakota. Fortunately, the South Dakota measured failed but currently, 12 states now have criminal laws specific to hepatitis.

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The views reflected in this expert column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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