EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve updated this story to underline the fact that public health experts are unified in condemning the harmful impact HIV criminalization laws have on combating the virus and the stigma the laws both create and support.
Charlie Sheen has purportedly been hit with an “HIV transmission” lawsuit.
RadarOnline reports that the 51-year-old actor is said to have transmitted HIV to a male partner during sex.
Under California law, where Sheen resides, it’s illegal for an HIV-positive person to engage in consensual sex without a condom if there is intent to transmit the virus.
According to the CDC, more than 30 U.S. states have imposed such backward HIV transmission laws, most of which were implemented during the early years of the AIDS crisis and are now not only outdated but stigmatizing and counterproductive. The laws are designed to punish people with HIV rather than educate people about how to protect themselves.
Sheen came out publicly as HIV-positive back in 2015 during an interview with the Today Show. At the time, he said the diagnosis was a “turning point” in his life and claimed that he had paid millions of dollars to blackmailers over the years who had threatened to reveal his status.