Criminalization of HIV

Even as HIV has become a chronic medical condition for many, we see an increasing criminal justice threat to people living with HIV.

In the United States, criminal law has been used to target people with HIV. Thirty-four states have statutes criminalizing perceived exposure to HIV. Prosecutions have involved allegations of non-disclosure, exposure, or transmission of HIV.

Pennsylvania does not have a specific law criminalizing HIV exposure or transmission, but the Pennsylvania Crimes Code contains a few provisions that have been used to prosecute people living with HIV for conduct that would not be criminal but for their HIV diagnosis.


WEIGHT OF SCIENCE: HIV Criminalization in Pennsylvania PDF

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Bibliography on Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure, Exposure, And Transmission PDF

This bibliography is the second update of the annotated bibliography on criminalization of HIV exposure, published in 2012. The bibliography was curated by Dini Harsono, M.Sc., Assistant Director of the Clinical and Health Services Research (CHSR) Core and coordinator of the Criminalization of HIV Exposure Work Group at CIRA. The document systematically highlights the literature consisting of summaries of criminal laws, empirical research, legal and public health analyses, fact sheets and guidance documents, consensus statements, and other relevant references on criminalization in the context of the United States and Canada. The bibliography is a working document and will be updated periodically. (Harsono, Dini. Bibliography on criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure, and transmission. New Haven, CT: Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University; 2018.)

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HIV-specific criminal laws by state from the Center for HIV Law & Policy

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