Rethinking Criminalization of HIV Exposure: Lessons From California’s New Legislation

The New England Journal of Medicine, 2018

Posted: 27 Oct 2018 Last revised: 28 Oct 2018

See all articles by Y. Tony Yang

Y. Tony Yang

George Washington University

Kristen Underhill

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: March 29, 2018

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Criminalization of HIV Status, HIV Law and Policy, California HIV Law

Suggested Citation

Yang, Y. Tony and Underhill, Kristen, Rethinking Criminalization of HIV Exposure: Lessons From California’s New Legislation (March 29, 2018). The New England Journal of Medicine, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260135

Y. Tony Yang

George Washington University ( email )

1919 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Kristen Underhill (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

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