Lambda Legal, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and the HIV Medicine Association filed this amicus curiae (meaning "friend of the court") brief in the New York Court of Appeals, supporting the dismissal of an aggravated assault criminal charge against an HIV-positive man who allegedly bit a police officer. The defendant's assault charge was elevated to aggravated assault on the basis of his HIV status. In 2007, the county judge presiding over the case had found that the saliva of the HIV-positive defendant could be considered a dangerous instrument for the purposes of an aggravated assault charge and the defendant was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison. In 2007, the defendant filed a Notice of Appeal of his conviction. The amicus brief addresses why the saliva of a person with HIV cannot constitute a "dangerous instrument" under New York's Penal Law, in that HIV is not transmitted by saliva.
Identifying information has been redacted to protect the identity of the HIV positive defendant.