Michigan State updates HIV disclosure laws to reflect impact of effective ART
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
On 8 January 2019 the outdated HIV disclosure law in the US State of Michigan has been modernised.
Previously, a person living with HIV could face a felony up to four years in prison for not disclosing their HIV status prior to any type of sexual penetration. The degree of risk of HIV transmission was not a factor in the statute; including whether or not HIV transmission occurred, orany risk of HIV transmission.
The amendment recognises that people on effective ART with undetectable viral load are not a risk for transmitting HIV. It also narrows the scope of sexual activities subject to prosecution, from “any type of sexual penetration to only “vaginal and anal sex.” Oral sex is also no longer subject to prosecution.
For HIV positive people who are not on treatment and not virally suppressed, non-disclosure remains a felony if HIV is sexually transmitted. If they do not disclose and do not transmit, the penalty has been reduced to a misdemeanor in the amended statute. Any person with a “specific intent” to infect another person also remains subject to prosecution.
Michigan makes strides in modernising HIV disclosure law. LA Times, (8 January 2019).