GEORGIA MAKES STRIDES IN MODERNIZING HIV DISCLOSURE LAW￼
After more than five years of work by the Georgia HIV Justice Coalition, Georgia Equality, and advocates living with HIV, Georgia’s HIV disclosure law has been modernized with the signing of SB 164 this week. This legislation was introduced by State Senator Chuck Hufsteler and supported in the House by Rep. Sharon Cooper leading to almost unanimous support in both chambers. This is a major step towards reducing the fear and stigma around getting tested and will, hopefully, encourage individuals who are living with HIV to achieve viral suppression. More specifically, the bill eliminates 3 HIV-related felonies based on failure to disclose one’s HIV status and 2 HIV-related felonies punishable for 5 to 20 years based on committing assault with the intent to transmit HIV. The law also updates the legal standard to convict an individual living with HIV who engages in a sexual act with the intent to transmit HIV by requiring proof that a significant risk of transmission existed based on current scientific understanding. This means that, if an individual is virally suppressed, they cannot be convicted under Georgia law. We celebrate this incredible achievement and will continue our work in serving and advocating for people living with HIV.