Exposure to HIV Removed from Offenses Requiring Sex Offender Registration in Tennessee 

People living with HIV convicted of criminal exposure can request to terminate registration requirements with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

(NEW YORK) – On May 17, 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 0807/House Bill 832 into law after it passed the House and Senate in April. The law removes criminal exposure to HIV from the list of violent sexual offenses where a conviction required an individual to register as a sex offender for life. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2023. 

Tennessee is one of 30 states that have HIV-specific criminal laws. Under current Tennessee law, people living with HIV (PLHIV) or hepatitis B or C may still be charged and convicted of a felony for engaging in sexual activities without disclosing their status. While the amended law removes the heightened penalty for exposure, it does not remove aggravated prostitution from the list of violent sexual offenses requiring registration as a sex offender, so there remains a heightened penalty for PLHIV who know their status to engage in sex work. 

“This change is a win for people living with HIV in Tennessee who are on the registry for life for an exposure conviction,” said CHLP Staff Attorney Jada Hicks. “Forcing people living with HIV to register as sex offenders for consensual sexual activity further criminalizes them and does nothing to enhance public safety. It is past time that stigmatizing HIV laws in Tennessee and other states catch up with the science of HIV transmission.”

As of April 2022, more than 70 people were on Tennessee’s registry for an HIV exposure charge. With the passage of SB 0807, anyone convicted of criminal exposure to HIV prior to July 1, 2023, may file a request to terminate registration requirements with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

“The law that Governor Lee signed is about to change my life. For the past 16 years I’ve been depressed, looking over my shoulder, and just being scared of messing up,” said Tennessee advocate Lashanda Salinas. “This law is going to finally let me have my life back. I can see family, my cousins, and attend family reunions and participate in things.”

Republican Rep. Bob Ramsey, who sponsored the House version of the bill, argued that the laws needed to be updated “to look at this disease in a more realistic light and try to destigmatize it so that we could identify it and treat it, more so than trying to punish it.”

Those registered as sex offenders for a conviction of criminal exposure to HIV who wish to have their names removed can do so through a fingerprint-based state and federal criminal history check process to determine whether additional convictions exist for sexual offenses or violent sexual offenses. If the requirements of the amendment are satisfied, TBI will remove the individual from the registry and notify them that they are no longer required to comply with the registration requirements.

If the TBI determines that the person would be required to register even if the offense had been committed on or after July 1, 2023, or that they had been convicted of any additional sexual offenses or violent sexual offenses during the period of registration, then they must remain on the registry. Under the bill, the TBI’s decisions can be appealed, allowing for judicial review by the courts. 

source

Related posts

Subscribe
Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...

 

  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t and a**
  4. Please avoid the use of derogatory labels.  Use person-first language.
  5. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  6. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  7. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  8. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  9. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address that are not personally identifiable.
  10. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  11. Please do not post in all Caps.
  12. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  13. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  14. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  15. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people.  Do not use your real name.
  16. Please do not solicit funds
  17. No discussions about weapons
  18. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), Person Forced to Register (PFR) or any others, the first time you use it in a thread, please expand it for new people to better understand.
  19. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  20. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  21. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
  22. If addressing another commenter, please address them by exactly their full display name, do not modify their name. 
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 

4 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well isn’t that just special! Knowingly expose someone to a life threatening STD and that’s ok, no registration for an actual sexual offense, but you kiss a teenager and she/he makes you touch her inappropriately for 1 second, then it’s lifelong parole and registration for you. I swear this a total clown world. This stuff just keeps getting weirder and weirder every day.

That’s cute, except they’re overlooking a huge issue, they actually believe the registry prevents and protects the public.