Disclosure Before Exposure: A Review of Ohio’s HIV Criminalization Statutes, W. Thomas Minahan, Ohio Northern University Law Review (2009)

Research and Journal Articles

This article describes the origins of the modern HIV epidemic and the stages of HIV infection, before moving into a more specific exploration of Ohio’s HIV criminalization statutes. The author discusses several Ohio cases prosecuted under these statutes, as well as the penalties that convicted defendants may face. The author asserts that while these laws “may have served a vital function at the time [they were] enacted,” it is time to reexamine these statutes and “revise where appropriate.” He further argues that the laws stand in direct opposition to longstanding public health measures, since they may discourage testing and place the burden of prevention solely on people living with HIV. The author suggests a statutory scheme that criminalizes non-disease-specific offenses with graduated penalties based on the severity of the conduct. He also recommends that civil litigation remain available as an alternate recourse to criminal prosecution for HIV-related offenses.