The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) functions as the networking/advisory body for the Ryan White Care (RWC), Part B grant in Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.
Ron Henderson was originally to present on minority health initiatives, but was unable to do so. Tammi Haught, SeroProject Criminalization Conference Coordinator, presented on the Florida HIV Criminalization Task Force
HIV Criminalization refers to laws that conflate the failure to disclose a known positive HIV status with the intent to infect someone with HIV. While using a condom should result in reasonable doubt about intent to infect, using a condom does not matter under these laws. Tammi Haught reported that between January 1, 1998 and June 15, 2012, Florida has filed 250 HIV criminalization charges, and convicted 154 individuals. In Florida, people can be sentenced to as much as thirty years in prison under these laws.
Things could change in Florida soon. The HIV criminalization statutes in Florida refer to “sex” which Florida law defines as penis-in-vagina. The Florida Supreme Court recently heard an appeal in a case involving failure to disclose HIV status. The defense appealed the conviction on the grounds that “sex” under Florida law excludes male-male sex. The court could throw the case out and ask the legislature to clarify the definition of “sex” or the court could reinterpret the meaning of “sex” in contemporary terms. In either case, a window for policy change could be opening in Florida. The SeroProject has begun to create an HIV Criminalization Task Force in Florida to work on changing these laws.
Janet Vargas, Ryan White Part A, reported that 231 Ryan White Part A clients have been enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans.
Joey Wynn, Chair of SFAN, reported that for the first time in years, an HIV positive baby had been born in Broward County. A full report will occur at the May SFAN meeting.
Arianna Lint, Director of Transgender Services at SunServe, reported that she gave a “Transgender 101” training to the deputies at the Broward County Jail and that the Jail has a transgender unit. SunServe regularly provides services inside the jail to transgender inmates.
The Florida HIV/AIDS Patient Care (PCPG) and Prevention (PPG) Planning Group Meetings will be held May 12-15 in Tampa. For more information, please visit http://conta.cc/1DqDwwI
The annual Transgender Medical symposium will occur May 14-15 at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale and is free. CMEs and CEUs provided. To register, please visit www.t-houseonline.com.
The American Academy of HIV Medicine will hold a policy-training event “HIV Care Under the Affordable Care Act” on May 7, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. This free event, designed for health professionals, will occur in Fort Lauderdale. To register please visit www.aahivm.org/Events/exec/events.
Next SFAN Meeting: Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m., at the Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334. Newcomers are encouraged to attend.