California lawmakers have voted to reduce the penalty for intentionally exposing someone to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Supporters say existing laws are relics of the decades-old AIDS scare. The bill passed Thursday by the Assembly, 44-13, would treat HIV like other communicable diseases under federal law.
It requires final Senate approval before heading to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Assemblyman Todd Gloria says current laws discriminate against people living with HIV and deter people from being tested. The San Diego Democrat says modern medical treatment has made HIV a much less devastating disease than it was when the so-called HIV-criminalization laws were passed in the 80s and 90s.
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Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach opposes the bill and says it would endanger people.