Published October, 2010

Should it be Illegal for HIV-Positive Persons to Have Unprotected Sex Without Disclosure? An Examination of Attitudes Among US Men Who Have Sex With Men and the Impact of State Law, Keith J. Horvath et al., AIDS Care (2010)

This survey examined attitudes about the criminalization of sex without advance disclosure by an HIV-positive MSM of his HIV status to his partner. 1,725 American men who have ever had sex with another man were surveyed. Of the total respondents, 65% thought it should be illegal for an HIV-positive person to have unprotected sex without disclosure, 23% thought it should not be illegal, and 12% were unsure.

The groups most likely to think nondisclosure should not be criminalized were those who were HIV positive themselves and those who held either a college or graduate degree. Men who did not identify as gay were more likely to support criminalization. Those respondents in states where people were less hostile towards homosexuality were less likely to support criminalization.

Sexual behavior also played a role in men's opinions. Those who engaged in unprotected anal intercourse with two or more sexual partners in the three months prior were significantly less likely to support criminalization than those who reported no unprotected anal intercourse.

An interesting result of this survey was not only the reported views, but the lack of geographical difference in the responses. Results in states with HIV criminalization laws were similar to those without, refuting the assertion that such laws deter risky behavior or affect views on HIV.