Virtually all U.S. jurisdictions have HIV-related laws and a vast majority of states have HIV-specific laws. Criminal HIV laws can also be found all over the world. Criminal HIV laws usually do not require any significant risk of HIV transmission let alone actual HIV transmission. PLHIV have been arrested under criminal HIV laws for spitting, usually when resisting arrest for a non-HIV related charge, despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva. Approximately 12 states have penalty enhancements for sex workers living with HIV. Sex workers living with HIV can be prosecuted under criminal HIV laws without engaging in any physical contact and numerous sex workers living with HIV have been charged and arrested for agreeing to have sex with an under cover cop. Some studies have indicated that criminal HIV laws disproportionally affect Black people, sex workers, TGNC, and women.
Black Trans Nation stands in opposition to the criminalization of HIV and sex work and the systems of oppression such as racism, classism, whorephobia, transphobia, ableism, and gender-based violence that criminalize the same people disproportionally impacted by HIV due to the structural violence our communities endure each day. We imagine a world where we public health efforts exist outside of policing practices and the violence they bring.
Sex Work HIV Toolkit FINAL R2 (pdf)Download
U.S. HIV Laws and Prosecutorial Tools, CHLP (2020) (pdf)Download
Chart of U.S. Arrests and Prosecutions for HIV Exposure in the United States (June 2019)_0 (pdf)Download
Unmasked_Impacts of Pandemic Policing_COVID 19 Policing Project (pdf)Download
Punishment is Not a Public Health Strategy: The Criminalization of Viral Hepatitis in the US (pdf)Download