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.
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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.
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach opposes the bill and says it would endanger people.