Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill into law late last month that repeals the statute that criminalizes sexual penetration while infected with a venereal disease or HIV under certain circumstances.
Additionally, the bill requires that in prosecutions for endangering another by creating substantial risk of transmitting infectious disease, the name of the defendant and other individual be kept confidential. “For decades, the HIV epidemic has had devastating effects on New Jersey, particularly in our LGBTQ+ communities and communities of color,” said Governor Murphy. “Repealing the outdated law will eliminate the stigma and fear associated with testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, encouraging more individuals to be proactive in learning about their health.
This new law, coupled with advances in modern science and medicine, will bolster our efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New Jersey.” Primary sponsors for S3707/A5673 include Senators Vitale and Ruiz, as well as former Assemblymembers Vainieri Huttle, Downey, and Zwicker. “While working with advocates to identify areas to improve our harm reduction system of care, they identified updating our statutes to reflect what we now know about the transmission of certain diseases, especially in light of the advances in treatment, as a huge priority,” said Senator Joe Vitale. “Signing this bill into law will better protect and destigmatize individuals living with HIV in our state.