Dr Carrie Foote, IUPUI Sociology, was among a group of lawmakers and other stakeholders who discussed possible changes to Indiana laws concerning HIV-specific criminal penalties and sentence enhancements during an Indiana General Assembly Legislative Study session on August 30. Doctors, Public Health and Public Defender leaders argued that reforming HIV criminal laws will destigmatize the disease and improve public health. There are several Indiana criminal laws that make penalties harsher if the offender knows they have HIV. An example: Indiana University sociologist Carrie Foote – who lives with HIV – said that if a person without the disease spits on someone else in Indiana, it’s a misdemeanor. “But if I spit on you, it’s a felony crime – I face a very serious crime,” Foote said.That’s despite the fact that it’s impossible to transmit HIV via spitting on someone. Recommendations from the committee could result in proposed legislation during the next session in January. The session received coverage on several media outlets and is available for public viewing.
Media coverage included:
- This article by the Indiana Capital Chronicle – Casey Smith reporting 8/31/22
- This article & video clip by Fox59.com – Kristen Eskow, FOX59 reporting 9/5/22
- This article & audio clip by WFYI – Brandon Smith, WFYI reporting 9/6/22
Interim Study Session – Full Proceedings
- The Indiana General Assembly published all presentations and letters of support, along with a video recording of the proceedings (which we used to repost on our YouTube page).
- Letters from the Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, Indiana Disability Rights and the Indiana State Medical Association and speaker presentations. Click here & look under Agenda Aug 30, 2022 to see Exhibits #3-9
- Review official minutes from the Interim Study Committee