HIV Disclosure Law Upheld By Ohio High Court

November 30, 2017
Gay City News

 The seven-member Ohio Supreme Court unanimously rejected a free speech and equal protection challenge to the state’s law making it a felony assault for a person who knows he is HIV-positive to engage in “sexual conduct” with another person without disclosing their HIV-positive status.

The court divided 4-3, however, on the appropriate legal analysis for reaching its October 26 decision. Upholding an eight-year prison sentence for Orlando Batista, four members of the court ruled that the law regulated conduct rather than speech and the state has a rational basis for imposing the criminal disclosure requirement on people living with HIV when they have sex — but not for engaging in other types of conduct that could transmit HIV and not on those living with other comparable sexually-transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis C.

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Last modified 

December 7, 2017