In 2012, a 27-year-old woman called police to the Wagon Wheel motel in Boardman to report that her boyfriend had hit her. The woman ended up being arrested and charged with a second-degree felony herself.
The boyfriend, 50, told police they had been arguing because the woman had just informed him she was HIV positive. He said this upset him because “they have had unprotected sexual relations several times,” a police report states.
Under a 2000 Ohio law, it is a felony for a person with knowledge of their own positive HIV status not to disclose that status to a sexual partner before having sex. Violation is punishable by up to eight years in prison. Violators may be required to register as sex offenders.
There are also Ohio laws increasing the penalties for prostitution if the sex worker or the customer is knowingly HIV positive…
The Center for HIV Law and Policy was one of several groups to file an amicus brief in support of a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s HIV statute. The brief argues the law targets “disfavored social groups” and discriminates on the basis of disability. Oral arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court are set for May.