The United States of America was, as far as as we are aware, the first country in the world to prosecute people living with HIV and to enact HIV-specific criminal laws, commencing in 1986/7.
Each US state and territory – as well as the US military – treats alleged HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived exposure and/or alleged transmission, differently.
Case numbers for any particular US state may not always tally with the number of reported cases on our site, primarily because our cases database only goes back to 2008.
In addition, there may also appear to an extremely large disparity between the number of cases in certain states compared with others. This is not only due to a number of important limitations that we highlight on our Disclaimer page, but also because in-depth research by the Williams Institute on California, Florida, Georgia and Missouri has unearthed many previously unreported cases.
For a comprehensive overview and analysis of HIV-related criminal and similar laws and policies in the United States, please see The Center for HIV Law and Policy’s ‘HIV Criminalization in the United States: A Sourcebook on State and Federal HIV Criminal Law and Practice’, available at: http://www.hivlawandpolicy.org/sourcebook
More information is available on the following states
From the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS Yale University: Overview of resources outlining criminal laws and analyses of case laws; empirical research in the US and Canada; legal and public health analyses; guidance, fact sheets and talking points; policy and consensus statements, and other relevant references on criminalization in a North American context.
From the Sex Workers Project: Presents a public health law mapping of U.S. states that mandate HIV testing and criminalize HIV positive sex workers. Shows HIV transmission and exposure laws interact with sex work laws to compound criminal penalties for people charged with prostitution related crimes. Argues that decriminalization of sex work and HIV transmission and exposure is integral to effectively address the HIV epidemic.
Interactive tool looking at the impact of HIV criminal laws on people living with HIV in nine US states: California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia.
We are grateful to the Center for HIV Law and Policy for allowing us to link to their original research and analysis on HIV-related criminalisation in the United States.