Understanding Our Objections

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

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.

Criminalization and HIV

  • Ohio’s six HIV criminalization laws do not require actual transmission to take place and they criminalize behavior that poses no risk of transmission.
  • 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  • Ohio’s HIV criminalization laws are outdated, overly-broad, and they are often disproportionately enforced in disadvantaged populations with prosecution and severe penalties.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.

Ohio Fact Sheet

HIV Does not impact every population in Ohio equally. Find out what the current populations impacted by HIV in Ohio are.

HIV Vulnerable Population Palm Card

HIV Does not impact every population in Ohio equally. Find out what the current populations impacted by HIV in Ohio are.

Ohio HIV Law Pocket Guide

What is against the laws for people living with HIV? Keep this handy guide to inform you and keep you and others you know safe.

Proposed Changes to Ohio's HIV Laws

What is against the laws for people living with HIV? Keep this handy guide to inform you and keep you and others you know safe.

In OHIO AND NATIONALLY

Efforts to end the pandemic

This resource for community advocates provides a timeline describing the repeals and reforms to HIV criminal laws in the seven states that have made the most significant changes to their laws since 1994. Special thanks to community advocate Bryan C. Jones of Ohio for recognizing the need for and requesting the creation of this resource. See the Timeline

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 the Full Response

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

Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. requires addressing structural barriers to HIV prevention and care. Current scientific and medical evidence should inform state laws and practices that criminalize behaviors by people with HIV. States should consider updating or repealing outdated laws and practices. Read More

As 2020 ended, three communities from Ohio completed plans to do just that. The goal of the plans is aggressive: reduce new HIV infections by at least 90 percent by 2030. Cuyahoga, Franklin (Central Ohio) and Hamilton counties were identified for early planning as part of national Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) efforts, because those three counties account for more than half of new HIV infections in Ohio each year. Read More

GLOBAL EFFORTS TO END HIV CRIMINALIZATION

Global Organizations in the Fight

We are not alone in fighting for modernization, check out what other organizations around the world are doing.

placard educating about HIV Status

HIV Criminalization Undermines HIV Response

In 2021, together with the support of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and notable experts from Law, Health and Advocacy sectors, we created six videos explaining why HIV criminalization is bad for public health, human rights and efforts to end the endemic.