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Illinois Senate committee passes HIV decriminalization bill

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The Illinois Senate Executive Committee passed House Bill 1063 on Wednesday, sending it on to the full State Senate.

would end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH). Under current law, PLWH face the threat of arrest, prosecution, and incarceration even if they do not transmit HIV to another person. Additionally, PLWH may face longer sentences simply because of their HIV status. 

“We are pleased that House Bill 1063 moved through the Executive Committee today and look forward to a full vote in the Illinois Senate. Thank you to chief sponsor Senator Robert Peters for his leadership and his dedication to this important issue,” said the Illinois HIV Action Alliance in a statement.

“The truth is HIV criminalization does not improve safety or public health in Illinois – instead, it often has the opposite effect,” said the sponsor, State Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago). “Not a single study throughout the country shows HIV criminalization has reduced HIV transmission in any jurisdiction where it exists. We have also seen through the decades how HIV criminalization laws disproportionately impact women and the Black community. It is time to repeal this destructive law.”

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