ACLU Announces Lawsuit To Protect Black And Transgender Prostitutes’ Right To Give People HIV

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Tuesday they are suing the state of Tennessee over an HIV related law.

“We’re suing Tennessee for their ‘aggravated prostitution’ statute that targets people with HIV with harsh punishment and lifetime sex offender registration. This law is unconstitutional and disproportionately affects Black and transgender women,” the ACLU tweeted. (RELATED: Scientists Confirm Fifth Person ‘Cured’ Of HIV)

“Instead of criminalizing HIV, which disproportionately targets people who are already socially and financially marginalized, lawmakers should invest in evidence-based public health support for people with HIV. Tennessee, we’ll see you in court,” the ACLU concluded in their Twitter thread.

Tennessee law prohibits a person from knowingly giving someone HIV through “intimate contact” without first informing their partner they had the disease and obtaining consent, Justia US Law noted. There is another law in Tennessee that prohibits a person who knows they have HIV from engaging in prostitution, soliciting prostitution or being “an inmate in a house of prostitution”, the outlet noted.

African American men are six times more likely to die from HIV than non-Hispanic white males, the US Office of Minority Health reported.

HIV is the virus that weakens one’s immune system and whose final stage is AIDS, which is when one’s immune system is so weakened it is vulnerable to ordinary infections causing serious issues, Cleveland Clinic reported. Especially without treatment, AIDS is considered to be a lethal condition over time, a review paper published in the Public Health journal noted.