Just hours ago, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that decriminalizes New Jerseyans living with HIV!
The previously existing laws around HIV transmission were outdated, ineffective, and discriminatory. They treated HIV differently from any communicable disease and increased stigma against people living with HIV, leading to worse health outcomes.
Today, our laws become more closely aligned with modern science and public health best practices, reducing barriers to testing and healthcare that have kept people from seeking out help.
We are so grateful to Gov. Murphy and to our pro-equality legislature for passing this bill. In particular, we would like to thank bill sponsors Sen. Joe Vitale, Sen. Teresa Ruiz, and Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
We also want to thank the hundreds of Garden State Equality members who joined us in pushing for this bill to be passed before the end of this legislative session, as well as the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition, Hyacinth Foundation, and the many other community partners that have worked hard for years for this victory.
New Jersey continues to be a leader in ending the decades-long HIV epidemic nationwide. By passing this law, we’re even closer to achieving the state Department of Health’s plan to end new transmissions of HIV in New Jersey by 2025.