Liability for Transmission of HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Washington

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In July 2010, the White House published an ambitious strategy to “undertake a more coordinated national response to the HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] epidemic.” While public concern on the issue has waned in recent years, approximately 56,000 people are diagnosed with new HIV infections in the United States each year. The report notes that unless bold actions are taken, the United States faces “a new era of rising infections, greater challenges in serving people living with HIV, and higher health care costs.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) followed in September 2010 with a report that 19 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM) in 21 major U.S. cities were infected with HIV, and nearly half (44 percent) were unaware of their infection.

The proposed national strategy includes participation by state and local government, people living with HIV, and others. The legal community can play a role in helping the United States “become a place where new HIV [or STD] infections are rare.”

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