Modernize Unjust HIV Laws
join the movement modernizing HIV laws in Ohio
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STANDING TOGETHER TO MODERNIZE HIV LAWS IN OHIO
What Inspires Us to Do This?
The impact of Ohio’s unjust HIV Laws reach far beyond their original intention. They have become UNSCIENTIFIC as the Law has failed to catch up with the science. They are UNPRODUCTIVE because they are UNSUPPORTED by science. This has led to UNJUST felony convictions that punish not only the perceived perpetrator, but the community at large.
The good news is we know what needs to be done. Since the HIV pandemic of the ’80s, advances in technology and medicine have changed the nature of HIV transmission and treatment. Laws have not. In fact, the laws do nothing but promote stigma and discourage testing.
This much is clear: we cannot afford to fail in our mission to modernize Ohio’s HIV Laws.
OUR KEY MISSION
To advocate for the Modernization of Ohio’s unjust HIV Laws. The laws are:
In Ohio, a person living with HIV can go to prison for 8 years for not disclosing their status before engaging in sexual conduct, even when they did not intend to harm anyone and no harm resulted. This is more severe punishment than for reckless homicide, sexual battery or arson.
Ohio’s laws punish behavior that poses no or negligible risk of HIV transmission. The laws incorrectly assume an HIV diagnosis is a “death sentence,” when in reality, it is a manageable medical condition. A person in treatment can have a near normal life expectancy.
There is no evidence that HIV criminal laws promote public health by increasing disclosure, HIV testing, or safer sex. At the same time, by singling out one disease, Ohio’s law stigmatizes and marginalizes people living with HIV, which undercuts an effective response to the epidemic.
Ohio’s HIV laws are opposed by public health and criminal justice experts, such as the ACLU of Ohio, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Former Ohio Department of Health Director, Rick Hodges, supports our mission.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Help Change Unjust Laws.
We are mobilizing a broad coalition, including individuals and communities who are disproportionately impacted by HIV, to replace fear-based, stigmatizing laws that criminalize HIV-status with evidence-based, nondiscriminatory laws that protect public health.