By a vote of 9-2, the Utah state House Judiciary Committee has approved new legislation that would require folks to disclose HIV/AIDS status or face criminal penalties.
House Bill 369 now heads to the full House for debate.
LGBT advocates and AIDS support groups worry that such legislation could discourage people from getting tested for HIV. Executive director of the LGBT rights group Equality Utah, Troy Williams worries that enacting statutes like HB369 were “starting down a path toward criminalizing people with HIV.”
But Republicans on the committee say there’s no reason status shouldn’t be disclosed by consenting adults. “To knowingly put another person at risk of harm to their body,” Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, said. “Why should that not be a crime?”
At one point, a proposal was put forth that would include disclosing any sexually transmitted disease, but that amendment failed.