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Senate Bill 275 Introduced to Modernize Nevada’s Outdated, Discriminatory and Ineffective HIV Laws
March 23, 2021 at 6:05 pm

March 23, 2021

CONTACT: Melissa Warren, Faiss Foley Warren for Silver State Equality
PHONE: (702) 528-6016/MOBILE: (702) 528-6016/EMAIL:

CARSON CITY, NV – Silver State Equality, Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization and a partner of the Nevada HIV Modernization Coalition, applauds the recent introduction of legislation to reform and modernize Nevada’s outdated, ineffective and discriminatory HIV criminal laws. Senate Bill (SB) 275, introduced by Senator Dallas Harris (District 11), will create a framework for recognizing HIV as a public health issue, rather than a criminal one. SB 275 also encourages increased HIV testing, treatment and the use of other preventative options that will help to reduce the spread of HIV and finally end the 40-year epidemic. Modernization of HIV criminal laws — like those in Nevada that SB 275 seeks to amend — is supported by public health officials, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and a bipartisan group of elected officials and civil rights leaders across the country.

Silver State Equality released the following statement from State Director André C. Wade, who — along with Sen. Harris — also serves as Co-Chair of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Task Force on HIV Exposure Modernization:

“We’re encouraged that the Nevada Legislature is taking the first step to modernize the state’s HIV-related laws, joining a growing national movement to reform outdated, ineffective and discriminatory laws. We can end Nevada’s HIV epidemic if we use proven prevention methods and modernize our HIV laws to create an environment in which people want and have access to HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention options — not one that criminalizes people based on their status. HIV is not a crime. Nevada law should reflect that.

“We’re hopeful that this is the first step toward treating HIV as a public health issue instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals. Considering Nevada’s progressive orientation, it’s unfathomable that our laws continue to criminalize otherwise legal behavior based on a person’s HIV status, ignoring the fact that these laws are out of sync with science and what we know about the transmission of HIV. It’s long past time to reform these discriminatory laws that target and impact certain populations more likely to be living with the HIV virus. And it’s time for action to reform laws that are ineffective at preventing the spread of the virus because they may discourage people from getting tested.”

The fight to change Nevada’s outdated and ineffective HIV criminal laws began in 2019 when the Nevada State Legislature passed SB284 sponsored by Senator David Parks, which created a governor-appointed Advisory Task Force on HIV Exposure Modernization. For more information, visit


As Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, Silver State Equality brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in Nevada and throughout the U.S. Silver State Equality strives to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. Silver State Equality is a Nevada-based program affiliated with and supported by Equality California and Equality California Institute, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.  More information at

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