Tag
PLHIV

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)…After decades on the books, Missouri lawmakers have finally passed legislation to update the criminal codes dealing with the prosecution of people living with HIV.  The legislation, introduced by Senator Holly Rehder (R-27) and Representative Phil Christofanelli (R-105), rewrites Missouri’s HIV-specific criminal laws. The bill would lower the penalties under the HIV exposure...
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(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)…Empower Missouri is celebrating the passage of legislation that will expand access to a time-sensitive HIV medication. Senator Greg Razer (D-Jackson County, Senate District 07) and Representative Phil Christofanelli (R-St. Peters, House District 105) introduced the legislation in their respective chambers, supported by Empower Missouri & the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition. The legislation...
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Missouri has an HIV criminalization problem. Under current Missouri law, if someone knows they are living with HIV but does not disclose their status before engaging in certain activities considered to be “exposure”— some of which don’t carry any risk of transmission — they can be charged with a class B felony, punishable by five...
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The legislature is taking their annual Spring Break this week, which is widely considered to be “halftime” of the legislative session. We’ve spent the last few days reviewing our progress on all of our priority legislation this year and preparing for the sprint to the finish line when session begins next week.  Here’s a quick...
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We have come a long way in what we know about HIV treatment and transmission since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began 40 years ago. In terms of health, an HIV diagnosis today largely means continuing to lead an ordinary life with regular treatment and monitoring. With one pill a day, we can now reduce the level...
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Next Monday, health-related committees in both the Missouri House & Senate will hear testimony on nearly identical bills to significantly modernize our state’s HIV criminalization laws.  For the last three years, Empower Missouri has been home to the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition. This coalition is led by People Living with HIV (PLHIV), their service providers,...
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More than three decades ago, my biological parents tested positive for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and were diagnosed with AIDS in the late 80s and mid-90s. My dad’s death came first in 1989, followed by my mom’s death in 1994, just two years before breakthroughs toward truly effective treatments were achieved in 1996. Every day,...
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During the age of COVID-19, many of us are doing our duty to protect ourselves and others. We stay home, wash our hands, and wear masks when we absolutely must leave the house.  Many are presently feeling heightened emotions due to fear of the illness, the stresses of homeschooling children, changes to work life, etc....
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On Tuesday, March 3, HB 1691 was heard in the Judiciary Committee. Sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, this bill would modernize our outdated and harmful HIV-specific statutes that criminalize people for acts that pose no risk of HIV transmission. The hearing was scheduled for 4 p.m. or “upon adjournment” of floor debate. With the floor...
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Imagine your next door neighbor calls to invite you to a dinner party. The date and time work for you, and you enjoy your neighbor’s company, so you say yes. As the neighbor ends the call, she says, “Oh, I’m going to seat Jack next to you. He has coronavirus. Is that okay?” What would...
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