MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri Representatives Holly Rehder (R - Sikeston) and Tracy McCreery (D - Olivette) have filed bills regarding the state’s HIV-specific criminal codes.
These bills were praised by the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition as ones that represent a bipartisan effort to modernize Missouri’s current outdated codes.
Rep. McCreery was applauded for House Bill 166 and Rehder was applauded for House Bill 167.
According to coalition officials, another bill, 168, from Rep. Rehder would reduce harm caused by sharing needles and improve opportunities for injected drug users to go into treatment and recover from addiction.
Empower Missouri has provided staffing for the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition for the past four years.
Jeanette Mott Oxford, executive director, said, “We are very thankful to Rep. Holly Rehder and Rep. Tracy McCreery for their leadership in addressing Missouri’s outdated, medically inaccurate HIV-specific criminal codes. The current law rewards ignorance of one’s own status and discourages being tested and receiving treatment. That is a public health policy failure, and it must be changed.”