June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013
REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you have been a beary safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that first identified AIDS. Five patients in Los Angeles were treated for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and were the first to be identified in the MMWR with symptoms of what would later be known as AIDS. Thirty-two years later, we finally have the tools, scientific knowledge, and expertise to see the end of HIV.

Despite our wealth of knowledge now, 32 states and 2 U.S. territories still have criminal statutes based on perceived exposure to HIV. H.R. 1843, the REPEAL (‘‘Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal”) HIV Discrimination Act, is bipartisan legislation that addresses the serious problem of discrimination in the use of criminal and civil commitment laws against those who test positive for HIV. This bill would modernize current criminal law approaches that target people living with HIV for felony charges and severe punishments for behavior that is otherwise legal or that poses no measurable risk of HIV transmission.

We encourage Republican Members of Congress to join Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) in signing on as a cosponsor to this bipartisan bill. These criminal laws are based on inaccurate information that no longer reflects the medical advances and scientific discoveries made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Laws that single out people with HIV for severe punishment in the absence of actual wrongdoing and treat a positive HIV test as evidence of a crime are contrary to our nation’s values of fair treatment under the law, including equitable treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. Furthermore, prosecuting and imprisoning these individuals based on outdated beliefs about the routes and risks of HIV transmission are costly; prosecutions for alleged exposure to HIV have occurred in at least 39 states.

To join Dab the AIDS Bear and Take Action Today To Ensure Bipartisan Support For The REPEAL Act go to: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50464/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=11094

Why Take Action Today?

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that first identified AIDS. Five patients in Los Angeles were treated for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and were the first to be identified in the MMWR with symptoms of what would later be known as AIDS. Thirty-two years later, we finally have the tools, scientific knowledge, and expertise to see the end of HIV.

What Has Happened Since Then?

Despite our wealth of knowledge now, criminal laws based on inaccurate information that no longer reflects the medical advances and scientific discoveries made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, continue to persist. Laws that single out people with HIV for severe punishment in the absence of actual wrongdoing and treat a positive HIV test as evidence of a crime are contrary to our nation’s values of fair treatment under the law, including equitable treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. Furthermore, prosecuting and imprisoning these individuals based on outdated beliefs about the routes and risks of HIV transmission are costly; prosecutions for alleged exposure to HIV have occurred in at least 39 states.

What does REPEAL Do?

32 states and 2 U.S. territories still have criminal statutes based on perceived exposure to HIV. H.R. 1843, the REPEAL Act, is bipartisan legislation that addresses the serious problem of discrimination in the use of criminal and civil commitment laws against those who test positive for HIV. This bill would modernize current criminal law approaches that target people living with HIV for felony charges and severe punishments for behavior that is otherwise legal or that poses no measurable risk of HIV transmission.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab