Culture

In California, Sex Triumphs Over Death

State Sen. Scott Wiener, (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,file)

In its rush to destroy itself, California has gone and done this:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection. The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.

Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Wiener said in a statement. “HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.”

It’s refreshing to see that in the eternal race between Eros and Thanatos, Eros generally comes out on top. But who was treating people with HIV as criminals? People with lethal communicable diseases have always been treated specially — quarantine or exile was their fate in the past — and few diseases have been combated with such alacrity and vigor as AIDS. To knowingly endanger the lives of others, not to mention to reinfect the public blood supply and receive in return a slap on the wrist, is just nuts. But, hey, rights.