When the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s in the United States, there was mass confusion and hysteria regarding HIV transmission and prevention, leading many states to enact HIV criminalization statutes to prosecute persons living with HIV who either exposed another person to HIV or put someone in danger of being exposed to HIV. Yet, almost forty years later, these statutes are still used to criminalize and control the behaviors of people living with HIV, and in some cases, impose lengthy prison sentences hinging on the possibility of exposure. These HIV criminalization statutes and subsequent criminal cases often do not consider the vast understanding society now has regarding HIV/AIDS or the fact that persons living with HIV can reduce their risk of exposing another to zero through consistent anti-retroviral therapy. This Note argues that HIV criminalization statutes are unconstitutional as applied to virally suppressed persons living with HIV under the Eighth Amendment by using Robinson v. California’s bar against “status crimes” as a guide.
"HIV No Longer a Death Sentence but Still a Life Sentence: The Constitutionality of HIV Criminalization Under the Eighth Amendment,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 56:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol56/iss3/6