Three Dem. Presidential Hopefuls Endorse Repeal of ‘Unfair’ HIV Disclosure Laws

‘It’s not fair, and it needs to change…’

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) As part of his broader LGBT rights policy plan, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said he supports repealing HIV disclosure laws.

During a CNN town hall, which focused largely on LGBT issues, host Anderson Cooper asked Buttigieg what he would do to address the “antiquated” HIV laws, adding that they’re based on “old science.” Both Cooper and Buttigieg are homosexual.

Buttigieg agreed that laws criminalizing HIV nondisclosure should be repealed. “It’s not fair, and it needs to change,” he said.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-NJ, also advocated for decriminalizing HIV disclosure. Booker went so far as to call HIV disclosure laws “draconian.”

Experts have pointed out that HIV disclosure laws preserve the safety and health of LGBT individuals. Without them, LGBT persons could be knowingly and intentionally infected. And the argument that medical advances have reduced HIV transmission doesn’t mean the disease isn’t still easily passed around.

In her LGBT-rights plan, Warren also advocates for: a nationwide ban on conversion therapy, a new program to fight violence against minority transgender women, a new medication that would reduce the risk of contracting HIV and a complete decriminalization of all sex work.

Both Warren and Buttigieg suggested during the town hall that if they cannot pass their plans through Congress, they would use an executive order to make them a reality.

Executive action would be necessary to make sure “much of our country” doesn’t face the “discrimination and the ever-present fear continue to govern aspects of LGBTQ people’s lives,” Buttigieg said in his policy platform.