Reporting Risk To Known Contacts
Partner notification is critical so that individuals know they are at risk, receive HIV counseling and testing, and get appropriate medical care. One of the most controversial issues is whether physicians may disclose the HIV status of their patients to known contacts and, further, whether failure to do so may give rise to liability if the known contact becomes HIV-positive. Though the threat of the contact is clear and immediate, individuals may be discouraged from undergoing testing if they know someone will notify contacts.
Hiv And Std Criminalization Laws
As of 2021, 35 states have laws that criminalize HIV exposure.The laws for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were assessed and categorized into four categories.
General criminal statutes, such as reckless endangerment and attempted murder, can be used to criminalize behaviors that can potentially expose another to HIV and or an STD. Many states have laws that fall into more than one of the categories listed above. For this analysis, only HIV-specific laws are captured for states with both HIV-specific laws and STD/communicable/infectious disease laws. Only HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws are captured for states with both HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws and sentence enhancement statutes.
Background On Hiv Criminalization In Us
The following resources provide a broad overview of HIV criminalization in the United States. Specifically, these resources address the science of HIV, provide background literature on the history and practices of HIV criminalization, and the current status of HIV criminalization laws and statutes in the United States.
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Protect Grassroots Advocacy Today
Grassroots advocacy is under attack!
Corporate landlord groups trying to raise rents during the COVID 19 pandemic are now attacking the loudest voice for low-income renter ballot initiatives in California – AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
AB 1938, a bill sponsored by the California Apartment Association, California Chamber of Commerce, and California Association of Realtors, is snaking its way through the state legislature.
While AB 1938 directly targets AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this bill will have dangerous ramifications for all advocacy efforts in the state of California.
Please join us in urging the members of the CA State Assembly Committee on Appropriations to vote NO on this deeply-flawed bill.
New York State Confidentiality Law And Hiv: Public Health Law Article 27
Article 27-F is the section of New York State Public Health Law that protects the confidentiality and privacy of anyone who has:
- been tested for HIV
- HIV infection or HIV/AIDS-related illness or
- been treated for HIV/AIDS-related illness.
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New York Consolidated Lawspbh
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. New York may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
Hiv And Std Criminalization Laws 2021
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through HIV-Specific Statutes and Regulations
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through STD/Communicable/Infectious Diseases Specific Statutes
Sentence Enhancement Statutes
None/General Criminal Statutes
Criminalization of potential HIV exposure is largely a matter of state law, with some Federal legislation addressing criminalization in discrete areas, such as blood donation and prostitution. These laws vary as to what behaviors are criminalized or what behaviors result in additional penalties. Several states criminalize one or more behaviors that pose a low or negligible risk for HIV transmission.
In 12 states, laws require people with HIV who are aware of their status to disclose their status to sex partners, and 4 states require disclosure to needle-sharing partners.
The maximum sentence length for violating an HIV-specific statute is also a matter of state law. Some states have a maximum sentence length up to life in prison, while others have maximum sentence lengths that are less than 10 years. However, only 9 states have laws that account for HIV prevention measures that reduce transmission risk, such as condom use, and antiretroviral therapy .
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Prevalence And Public Health Implications Of State Laws That Criminalize Potential Hiv Exposure In The United States
J. Stan Lehman, Simone C. Gray, Jonathan H. Mermin Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, MS-D21, 30333 Atlanta, GA
Meredith H. Carr Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, MS-D21, 30333 Atlanta, GA and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow, Atlanta, GA
Allison J. Nichol, Alberto Ruisanchez, David W. Knight,Anne E. Langford Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC
Hiv And Health Law: Striking The Balance Between Legal Mandates And Medical Ethics
HIV status and reporting requirements raise legal issues related to patient confidentiality. Legal protection of patient privacy and confidentiality depends on whether or not public health concerns outweigh the interest in preserving the doctor-patient privilege. The balancing of these interests is a particular challenge when it comes to privacy concerns associated with HIV status.
A core legal dilemma in the case of HIV/AIDS is determining when the need to protect others, such as sex partners to whom the patient is likely to transmit HIV, supersedes the patient’s right to confidentiality. Public policy encourages high-risk groups to submit to HIV testing because those individuals who know they are HIV-positive are more likely to seek treatment and take precautions that may prevent transmission of the virus. However, if HIV-related information is readily disclosed by health care providers, individuals may become more reluctant to seek testing. When does the protection of others through a breach of patient confidentiality, ie, reporting cases to the authorities, become worth the risk to that individual who may be HIV-positive will avoid testing in order to avoid being reported?
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Aids Activists March Prison Float Down 5th Ave To Highlight National Trend To Criminalize People With Hiv/aids
NEW YORK, NY, June 22 This Sunday, while tens of thousands of New Yorkers celebrate LGBT equality at Pride, local grassroots activist groups ACT UP , and QUEEROCRACY aim to raise awareness about the growing phenomenon of HIV criminalization, making it a crime for people with HIV not to disclose their HIV status before having sex or for heightened penalties or charges for persons prosecuted for other crimeslike assault, sex work or immigration violationssimply because they also have HIV.
Thirty-four states and two U.S. territories have laws making it a crime for persons living with HIV to have intimate contact with another person without prior disclosure of his or her HIV positive status. Some people have been sentenced to decades in prison and are required to register as sex offenders for sexual behaviors between consenting adults, even when a condom is used, the person with HIV has an undetectable viral load and there is no transmission. Thousands of people with have been criminalized.
HIV criminalization laws discourage disclosure and drive stigma, which has been one of the biggest obstacles to addressing the AIDS epidemic since the earliest days said Sean Strub, director of the SERO Project, which combats HIV criminalization
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Hiv Confidentiality Laws By State: What To Know
HIV is a lifelong condition, but treatments and strategies can prevent the virus from transmitting and the infection from progressing into AIDS.
This article discusses the different types of laws relating to HIV in the U.S. and outlines the many state-specific laws surrounding the virus.
For more in-depth information and resources on HIV and AIDS, visit our dedicated hub.
When the HIV epidemic began in the United States in the 80s, many states put in place laws designed to discourage behaviors that may expose another person to HIV. These laws could remove a persons right to privacy about their medical condition and even criminalize someone with HIV for engaging in behaviors that could put another person at risk for contracting the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , many of the laws came into effect when the medical community knew very little about HIV , which some laws reflect. Laws may criminalize or punish acts that the medical community now understands do not cause transmission, such as spitting or biting a person.
Some laws have also not changed accordingly since antiretroviral therapy became more prevalent. If ART can suppress the viral load sufficiently, a person has effectively no risk of transmitting HIV through sexual acts.
While some states have adapted to new understanding and changed their laws based on new information, the CDC confirms that some states still have outdated laws based on the current understanding of HIV.
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Legislation Enacted To Increase Hiv Testing In New York State
Legislation Enacted To Increase HIV Testing in New York State
On April 1, 2014, New York State amended Public Health Law Section 2781 related to HIV testing and Section 2135 related to confidentiality of HIV reports. The amendments increase HIV testing in New York State and facilitate linkage to and retention in care for HIV-positive persons. The following are the key provisions:
- Oral notification is sufficient. If the individual lacks the capacity to consent, notification will be made to the person lawfully authorized to consent to health care.
- Individual must be told each time an HIV test is done prior to the test and given the opportunity to decline. All HIV tests must be documented in the patient’s medical record.
- Information on the individuals right to accept or refuse HIV testing will be provided via posters, brochures or videos or directly to the patient by the provider.
- When used for linkage to and retention in care, patient-specific and patient-identifying information may be shared between local/state health departments and the health care providers treating the patient.
These new provisions apply to all HIV testing in New York State, and not just for testing of persons age 13 to 64 in clinical settings. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Health website. Questions may be sent to .
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Civil Cases Brought To Trial
Following these precautions will also protect you from civil liability. In addition to criminal prosecutions, a number of civil cases have been brought in which individuals sue sexual partners with HIV disease for monetary damages. These cases proceed under the tort theories of negligence, battery, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The most famous of these cases occurred in California. Mark Christian, the sexual partner of Rock Hudson, sued Hudson’s estate and received a jury award of $5.5 million. Christian claimed that, despite his repeated inquiries, Hudson and his private secretary denied that Hudson had HIV. Christian won this award even though he did not become infected. Like most civil cases, he claimed as damages the emotional stress caused by being exposed to the virus, not actual infection.
Other civil cases have not faired as well. These cases are frequently dismissed because the plaintiff cannot allege the necessary facts. Criminal statutes are often used by civil courts to set the standard for what type of conduct is considered negligent. California civil courts may dismiss negligence claims unless the infected person’s conduct meets the requirements of the new willful exposure statue.
To sum up, if you have safer sex and disclose your status to your sexual partners, you will not violate California’s willful exposure law, and will protect yourself from any form of criminal or civil liability.
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A Comparatively Lenient Law
While California’s willful exposure law may seem like just another way to make scapegoats out of people living with HIV, it is extremely lenient in the context of similar legislation that has been passed in other states.
The AIDS Policy Center in Washington, D.C., reports that 27 other states have established criminal penalties for knowingly transmitting or exposing another person to HIV. Most of these statutes have been passed as the result of political grandstanding by social conservatives and the religious right.
Unlike the California statute, under most of these state statutes individuals can be prosecuted if they know they are infected and engage in sexual intercourse without disclosure. Some of the laws are even more broad and vague. In Alabama, you can be prosecuted for “conducting oneself in a manner likely to transmit the disease,” and in South Carolina, for “exposing another person to HIV without first informing.”