Knowing what HIV Criminalization is and how Ohio has applied laws to the subject of HIV is a critical first step in understanding the dire need for laws to be modernized and brought up to date with modern science.
HIV CRIMINALIZATION AND OHIO'S ROLE IN IT
- HIV criminalization occurs when criminal law penalizes alleged, perceived, or potential HIV exposure, alleged nondisclosure of a known HIV-positive status prior to sexual contact (including behavior that does not pose a risk of transmission), or unintentional transmission.
- Ohio’s six HIV criminalization laws do not require actual transmission to take place and they criminalize behavior that poses no risk of transmission.
- Ohio’s HIV criminalization laws are outdated, overly-broad, and they are often disproportionately enforced in disadvantaged populations with prosecution and severe penalties
- In Ohio, HIV is most often criminalized in the felonious assault statute, a conviction under which could result in an 8-year prison sentence
During the early years of the HIV epidemic, many states implemented HIV-specific criminal exposure laws—HIV criminalization laws—to discourage behavior that we know cannot lead to transmission (such as biting or spitting), and, as a requirement for receiving federal funds to support HIV treatment efforts. Read Full Article
On March 15, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) published Prevalence and Public
Health Implications of State Laws that Criminalize Potential HIV Exposure in the United States,
AIDS and Behavior (“Article”).1 Read Full Article
For the past three decades, legislative approaches to prevent HIV transmission have been used at the national, state, and local levels. One punitive legislative approach has been enactment of laws that criminalize behaviors associated with HIV exposure (HIV-specific
criminal laws). Read More
For those who object to Modernizing and use blood transfusion policies as reason, here are summary key points from Modernizing Indiana’s HIV-related blood donation criminal laws Read More
HIV/AIDS: A TIMELINE OF PROGRESS?
CURRENT HIV POSITIVE DEMOGRAPHICS
Knowing what the current laws are in Ohio is the first step in understanding why these need to be modernized. Below are a series of links to legal resources about the current laws in Ohio surrounding HIV, as well as resources for individuals living with HIV.
Ohio HIV Law Pocket Guide – bookmark this page or download the guide for quick reference.
End the Epidemic Efforts
We are not alone in fighting for modernization, check out what other organizations around the world are doing.
Center for Community Solutions
Five Takeaways: Ending the HIV Epidemic Requires Changes Both Large and Small
The Center for HIV Law and Policy
Timeline of State Reforms and Repeals of HIV Criminal Laws, Center for HIV Law and Policy (2020)
Global Organizations in the Fight
Expert Consensus Statement on the Science of HIV in the Context of Criminal Law https://onlinelibrary.wiley.
Special thanks to community advocate Bryan C. Jones of Ohio for recognizing the need for and requesting the creation of this resource.