Pa. lawmakers introduce bills to repeal felony charge for HIV-related prostitution

HARRISBURG –The AIDS Law Project and our partners at the PA HIV Justice Alliance and the Sero Project are grateful to Senator Hughes and Representatives Waxman and Kenyatta for introducing bills that would remove the last reference to HIV in the Pennsylvania criminal code.

Prostitution is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, unless the person charged has HIV, and then it’s a felony, even if there was no physical contact. The bills introduced today would remove that felony charge.

Punishing people simply because they have a virus does not make anyone safe.  Criminal penalties based on fear and misinformation only contribute to the stigma facing people living with HIV. And stigma fuels the HIV epidemic. It keeps people from getting tested and treated for HIV for fear of what will happen to them.

Members of the PA HIV Justice Alliance, the Sero Project and the AIDS Law Project with Miss Pennsylvania 2023, Miranda Moore.

State Senator Vincent Hughes with Kenya Moussa of PA HIV Justice Alliance and Positive Women’s Network-PA Chapter

Photos by: W.J. Freshwater