HIV-Related Legislative Victory In Ohio

 

Ohio House Bill 232 became law on April 10, 2014. This omnibus bill amended and repealed sections of the existing law governing professional counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. The bill included an amendment to Ohio Code Section 2921.22, which previously required social workers to report to law enforcement officials if they learn a client has committed any felony.

Under the previous law, a social worker or case manager was required to report if a client living with HIV acknowledged that he/she failed to disclose his/her status, even if he/she used condoms and adhered to medical treatment. If the social worker failed to report the client, then he/she could be charged with a misdemeanor.  House Bill 232, eliminated this requirement for licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed professional counselor, independent social worker, social worker, and independent marriage and family therapists. This effort, led by the National Association of Social Workers - Ohio Chapter, helps strengthen provider-client relationships and reduce the unnecessary use of the criminal law to target HIV-affected communities.

To learn more about other HIV criminalization advocacy in Ohio, contact CHLP at pjp@hivlawandpolicy.org.