Tell CA Gov. Jerry Brown to Sign SB 239 Because #HIVIsNotACrime!

Did you know people living with HIV in California can be charged with a felony and imprisoned for years based almost entirely on their HIV status, even in cases when there is no risk of transmission?

This is because California still has outdated and discriminatory laws that unfairly criminalize people living with HIV and actually run counter to public health goals.

But Governor Brown can change this. Right now, there is a historic bill on his desk: Senate Bill 239, authored by Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, and cosponsored by a number of organizations including Positive Women’s Network – USA, which will modernize California’s HIV criminal laws and significantly improve public health.

Click here to urge Governor Brown to sign SB239!

Modernizing HIV criminal laws is a national priority and key component of the Governor and California Department of Public Health’s own Getting to Zero plan: a blueprint for ending the HIV epidemic.

Senate Bill 239 would fulfill this important goal of the Governor’s plan. That’s why we are asking that you urge Governor Brown to keep his promise and protect with people living with HIV from unfair prosecution.

California’s current HIV laws were passed in the 1980s and 90s, when little was known about how HIV is transmitted, there were no effective medications, and fear of people living with HIV was extremely high. Today we know much more. We now have medications that make it impossible for people living with HIV to transmit the disease to their partners, as well as HIV-prevention medication such as PrEP.

But our laws have not caught up with current science. Rather than promote public health, they criminalize and stigmatize people living with HIV and may actually deter people from getting tested and into treatment. That’s why it is crucial SB 239 is signed into law!

Governor Brown has been a vital, long time ally of the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. Please urge him to keep his word and sign SB 239 to modernize California’s HIV laws.

Helpful Links


Want to organize a phone bank, here is how!

Naina Khanna, Executive Director of Positive Women’s Network-USA, writes in Huffington Post.

Lambda Legal weighs in on SB 239.

Here are some sample tweets and a graphic you can use on social media:





Modernizing HIV criminal laws is part of CA’s Getting to Zero plan. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239. @CHHSAgency

CA’s HIV criminal laws are discriminatory! @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to promote public health. @CHHSAgency

CA’s laws have not caught up w/ science! @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to modernize our laws & improve public health. @CHHSAgency

CA has a chance to lead the nation on HIV criminalization reform. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239. @CHHSAgency

@JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to bring CA’s laws in-line w/ current science of HIV treatment & prevention. @CHHSAgency

Why are CA’s HIV criminal laws still stuck in the past? @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239. @CHHSAgency

HIV prevention has advanced; why are CA’s HIV laws stuck in the past? @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to modernize these laws. @CHHSAgency

California’s laws discriminate against ppl living w/ HIV. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239. @CHHSAgency

CA’s HIV criminal laws stigmatize people living with HIV. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to update CA’s laws. @CHHSAgency

CA laws criminalize ppl living w/ HIV. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to modernize these laws. @CHHSAgency

Modernizing CA #HIV criminal laws wd improve public health. @JerryBrownGov should keep his word & sign #SB239 @CAPublicHealth #HIVisNotACrime

CA #HIV criminal laws discriminate #HIVIsNotACrime @JerryBrownGov sign #SB239 2 modernize CA laws & promote public health @CAPublicHealth
Why are CA #HIV criminal laws stuck in 1990s? @JerryBrownGov & @CAPublicHealth sign #SB239 to modernize CA’s HIV laws bc #HIVIsNotACrime
CA laws discriminate against ppl w #HIV. @JerryBrownGov please sign #SB239 to modernize CA’s laws. #HIVIsNotACrime @CAPublicHealth
CA laws criminalize ppl w #HIV even w NO transmission! @JerryBrownGov sign #SB239 to modernize these laws! #HIVIsNotACrime @CAPublicHealth
#HIV treatment & prevention have advanced; why r CA HIV laws stuck in 1990s? @JerryBrownGov sign #SB239 to modernize #HIVIsNotACrime