HIV Criminalization in Michigan and Florida

HIV criminalization laws continue to be enforced in states across the country.

A review of Michigan's HIV disclosure law has been placed "on hold," according to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). As CHLP's Executive Director, Catherine Hanssens, explained to Todd Heywood of PrideSource on August 23, 2013: "MDCH staff who considered the problems with the existing law and proposed ways to modernize it deserve considerable credit for their leadership and clear vision of the big picture ... The Center for HIV Law and Policy, and members of the Positive Justice Project, will stay tuned to see whether the reorganized MDCH will continue the work completed so far. We stand ready to support an open, informed process of reform."

HIV criminalization laws continue to be enforced in states across the country. On August 20, 2013, a man living with HIV in Fort Myers, Florida, was targeted for prosecution. As reported in connection with the recent Florida incident: "There's no database on how many arrests and prosecutions for HIV exposure happen in the United States. But according to our analysis of documents from the Center for HIV Law and Policy, there have been 421 arrests nationwide."

CHLP monitors HIV criminalization across the country, and captures a snapshot of the spate of prosecutions for HIV exposure in the United States from 2008 through 2013. People at risk of prosecution should review the CHLP's HIV criminalization palm card. Legal advocates representing people living with HIV in a criminal exposure case should review CHLP's guidance.