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Charges for Criminal Exposure to HIV and Aggravated Prostitution Filed in the Nashville, Tennessee Prosecutorial Region 2000–2010


This paper examines comprehensive data on arrests for HIV-specific crimes within a single jurisdiction, the Nashville Tennessee prosecutorial region, over 11 years. There were 25 arrests for HIV exposure and 27 for aggravated prostitution. Eleven of the arrests for HIV exposure involved nonsexual behaviors; none alleged transmission. Sixteen of the arrests for HIV exposure involved sexual behavior; three alleged transmission. Aggravated prostitution cases (i.e. prostitution while knowing one has HIV) often involved solicitation of oral sex; none alleged transmission. Maximum sentences for HIV-specific crimes ranged from 5 to 8 years. We conclude that enforcement of US HIV-specific laws is underestimated. Fifty-two arrests over 11 years were recorded in one jurisdiction. Over half of the arrests involved behaviors posing minimal or no HIV transmission risk. Despite concerns about malicious, intentional HIV transmission, no cases alleged malice or intention.

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Correspondence to Carol L. Galletly.

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Galletly, C.L., Lazzarini, Z. Charges for Criminal Exposure to HIV and Aggravated Prostitution Filed in the Nashville, Tennessee Prosecutorial Region 2000–2010. AIDS Behav 17, 2624–2636 (2013).

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  • HIV-specific criminal statutes
  • HIV exposure laws
  • Persons living with HIV
  • Criminal law
  • HIV seropositive status disclosure
  • HIV transmission prevention