Want to know which HIV criminalization bills are currently working their way through state legislatures? Or maybe you’d like to learn which states have recently modernized their HIV laws. Thanks to the folks at the Sero Project, this information is now super easy to find out. They’ve added Bill Tracker 50, a series of three interactive maps, to its website SeroProject.com.
The widget-based maps of the United States track three specific criminalization topics:
- Passed HIV Criminalization 2011–Present: This map shows which states have passed laws involving HIV. For example, click on Colorado and you’ll see that bill SB146, which was named Modernize Statutes Sexually Transmitted Infections, was signed by the governor on June 6, 2016, and was sponsored by Representative Daneya Esgar and Senator Pat Steadman.
- State Coalition Bill Watch: This map shows which states have bills related to HIV (some states have more than one). Click on the state, and the tracker will show you the bill’s name, number and sponsors along with the last action taken. It also provides a direct link to the bill’s entry in BillTrack50.com, an exhaustive clearinghouse of all bills across the country (for those interested, BillTrack50 includes a webinar on how to navigate its vast resources).
- COVID-19 Criminalization Map: This is the first-ever map to track efforts to criminalize COVID-19, according to the Sero Project. The information is just like that listed in the State Coalition Bill Watch. Currently, the COVID-19 map includes one entry: Bill S08261 in New York. The bill “establishes the crime of intentional exposure to communicable disease making it an E felony to knowingly and deliberately expose another individual to a communicable disease in a manner likely to cause transmission and making such crime a qualifying offense for the purposes of pretrial detention.” The last action on the bill was May 1, when it was introduced.
The Sero Project uses the leadership of people living with HIV in efforts to end HIV criminalization, mass incarceration, racism and social injustice. Its executive director, Sean Strub, founded POZ in 1994. He’s also the mayor of Milford, Pennsylvania, and the subject of a new documentary on Amazon Prime Video.
In related criminalization news in POZ, see “The ‘Health Not Prisons’ Coalition Is Launched to reform HIV Crime Laws” and “Questioning the Benefits of Molecular Surveillance.”