Bioterrorism Charges are Dismissed Against HIV-positive Michigan Man

On June 2, 2010 a Macomb County, Michigan Circuit Court judge dismissed an October, 2009 charge brought under the state's anti-bioterrorism law against an HIV-positive man,  Allen, who was involved in an altercation with a neighbor. The court did agree with a previous Michigan Court of Appeals decision, People v. Odom, supported by information on the CDC website, that HIV-infected blood is a "harmful biological substance" as defined under the bioterrorism law because it is implicated in the transmission of HIV. An assault charge against Allen  is still pending. 

On June 2, 2010 a Macomb County, Michigan Circuit Court judge dismissed an October, 2009 charge brought under the state's anti-bioterrorism law against an HIV-positive man, Allen, who was involved in an altercation with a neighbor. Rejecting the prosecution's argument that by allegedly biting his neighbor, Allen used a "harmful biological substance" – i.e., HIV – to terrorize and possibly kill another person, the court concluded that there was no evidence of blood involvement, nor evidence that, because Allen is HIV-positive, he intended to use his HIV infection to do harm. The court did agree with a previous Michigan Court of Appeals decision, People v. Odom, supported by information on the CDC website, that HIV-infected blood is a "harmful biological substance" as defined under the bioterrorism law because it is implicated in the transmission of HIV. An assault charge against  Allen is still pending. To read the court's opinion, click here. To read the ACLU of Michigan's amicus brief, click here. To read the amicus brief of Lambda Legal, Community AIDS Resource and Education Services, Michigan Positive Action Coalition, and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc., click here. To read the Michigan Court of Appeals Decision, People v. Odom, click here.