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While we have made an effort to ensure that this information is correct and current, the law is regularly changing, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. This information may not be applicable to your specific situation and is not, and should not be relied upon, as a substitute for legal advice.

HIV-Specific Criminal Laws

Ohio has HIV-specific criminal statutes.

For detail on the selected state law and cases interpreting it, see Ohio: Analysis & Codes, an excerpt from CHLP’s recently updated compendium of HIV- and STI-related criminal laws and civil laws relating to public health control measures in all 50 states, the military, and U.S. territories. To view the publication in its entirety, see HIV Criminalization in the United States: A Sourcebook on State and Federal HIV Criminal Law and Practice. Methodology is explained in the Introduction (page 5).


People living with HIV (PLHIV) can be charged with a felony for failing to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners.

Spitting/Biting/Blood Exposure:

PLHIV and those living with hepatitis face enhanced penalties for exposing others to any bodily fluid.

Blood, Tissue, Organ, and Semen Donation:

It is a felony for PLHIV to donate or sell their blood, plasma, or any other blood product.

Sex Work/Solicitation:

PLHIV may face enhanced criminal penalties for prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. 

General STI/Communicable Disease Laws:

A person living with an STI may be charged with a misdemeanor for exposing others to disease.

Sex Offender Registration:

Persons convicted under the HIV-specific felonious assault law are required to register as sex offenders. 

General Felony Laws Used Against PLWH:

Ohio’s felonious assault statute has also been used to prosecute PLHIV for using their saliva or other bodily fluid as a “deadly weapon.”

We currently are in the process of reviewing and updating our resources and summaries related to health care workers and disclosure. In the meantime, please do not rely on this information as current, and get in touch with CHLP with any questions.

Calls for Voluntary Testing of Health Care Workers with HIV:

Testing voluntary

Patient Notification of HIV Status for Health Care Workers:

Retroactive notification will be determined by Director of Health after the evaluation of the possibility of exposure, assessment of the risk of infection, and the type of procedures performed by infected HCWs.

Practice Restrictions Based on HIV Status/"Exposure-Prone Procedures":

ERP will evaluate HCW’s medical condition and ability to perform specific job duties. ERP will make recommendations to the Director of Health concerning the circumstances under which the HCW may perform exposure-prone procedures. Recommendations shall be based on HCW’s impairment and shall pay attention to their likelihood of performing exposure prone procedures.

These summaries highlight key aspects of state laws governing the rights of minors to consent to testing and/or treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. Any such summary cannot capture the details and nuances of individuals state laws. Although roughly a third of the states permit health care providers to inform a minor's parents that their child is seeking STI-related services, none require it. Also, the law is fluid, and these summaries may not reflect recent legislative change in a particular state.  

Every state in the country allows minors to consent to STI testing and care without parental approval, although a number of these set an age threshold for the right to consent without parental involvement. In these states, the minimum age ranges from 12 to 14 years of age. 

As of the date of this posting, thirty-one states allow minors to also consent to HIV testing and treatment without parental approval. 

Unlike testing for most other infectious diseases, testing for HIV involves possible benefits as well as social, economic, and legal consequences that typically are not apparent or known to an individual considering testing. HIV-related testing is the gateway to health-preserving treatment; it also can be the basis of criminal prosecution for those who are sexually active, or relied on to exclude individuals who test positive for HIV from programs, employment, or insurance. Although state and federal laws prohibit much of this discrimination against people with HIV, the ability to enforce those rights usually depends on access to free legal services, which are increasingly limited and not available at all in roughly half of the states in the United States. Thus, the potential negative consequences of HIV testing at a particular time or location might inform an individual's decision of whether or when to get tested for HIV; or whether to test anonymously or through a "confidential" testing process that reports their test results and identifying information to the state but maintains the confidentiality of those results.  

The American Medical Association has long defined informed consent as a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention. Although informed consent is a legal concept rather than a medical one, many states use definitions of "informed consent" for purposes of HIV testing and medical procedures that in fact are inconsistent with the accepted legal definition, e.g., they do not require that an individual receive information or sometimes even notification that they are about to be tested for HIV. The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) accepts the legal and court-affirmed definition of informed consent; therefore, state protocols that call for "opt-out" testing (a patient is tested for HIV unless she/he objects) or that mirror general consent approaches are not counted as "informed consent" laws even in those instances where the state legislature has characterized their state law as requiring "informed consent." In short, CHLP does not consider or count laws that allow a patient's silence or general consent as granting authority to do confidential HIV testing as informed consent laws.

Pre-Test Counseling:
Post-Test Counseling (Only for HIV Diagnosis):

Post-test counseling in cases of HIV positive result is required.

Post-test counseling in cases of HIV positive result is required.

Anonymous Testing Available:

Patients may request anonymous testing. Anonymous testing is available at designated anonymous testing sites.

Partner Notification Required:

Notification to sexual partners of possible HIV exposure is required.

Find the laws in a different state.