Laws that criminalize certain behaviors on the basis of the person’s HIV status have long been challenged as ineffective prevention measures that harm public health. They are nevertheless widespread: according to the Center for HIV Law and Policy, 34 states have HIV-specific criminal statutes, and 23 have applied more general laws (e.g., against assault with a deadly weapon) in order to criminalize HIV exposure. Most of these laws don’t reflect current evidence regarding protective factors such as antiretroviral treatment (ART), and many encompass behaviors that carry negligible risk.
Law | Medical Jurisprudence
Y. Tony Yang & Kristen Underhill,
Rethinking Criminalization of HIV Exposure – Lessons from California’s New Legislation,
N. Engl. J. Med.
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