AIDS Panic in the Twenty-First Century: The Tenuous Legal Status of HIV-Positive Persons in America
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Thirty-four states criminalize HIV in some way, whether by mandating disclosure of one’s HIV status to all sexual partners or by deeming the saliva of HIV-positive persons a “deadly weapon.” In this paper, we argue that HIV-specific criminal laws are rooted in historical prejudice against HIV-positive persons as a class. While purporting to promote public health goals, these laws instead legally sanction discrimination against a class of persons.
KeywordsAIDS HIV Criminal law Criminalization Bioethics
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