LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The U.S. Department of Justice has notified the state of Tennessee it has determined the state is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by enforcing a law targeting sex workers living with HIV.
A 1991 Tennessee law considers sex workers who are HIV-positive to be violent sex offenders, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a press release. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”