Sigh.

The response to Charlie Sheen’s latest HIV infection rumors proves the stigma is alive and well

Sigh.

Yesterday, RadarOnline reported that actor Charlie Sheen could be facing up to eight years in jail after being accused of passing HIV to a male partner during sex. Under California law, it’s illegal for an HIV-positive person to engage in consensual sex without a condom if there is intent to transmit the virus.

Regardless of how you feel about Sheen, the situation once again raises questions about HIV stigma and criminalization.

Related: Charlie Sheen accused of passing HIV to his gay lover during sex

According to the CDC, more than 30 U.S. states have criminal HIV transmission laws, most of which were implemented during the early years of the AIDS crisis, which punish people who knowingly — and sometimes unknowingly — expose their partners to HIV without disclosing their statuses beforehand, even if their partners do not contract the virus. Punishments can range from hefty fines, to mandating a person register as a sex offender, to as much as 25 years in prison.

Related: Are Criminal HIV Transmission Laws Outdated?

Many LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activists have been working for years to have these laws stripped from the books, arguing that they are not only outdated but unfairly target gay men and other minority groups. But it’s been a very slow process. In part because the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS still lingers, as evidenced by the response to yesterday’s reported news about Sheen.

Check out how people on Twitter have been responding to the rumors…