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Tips+Tools: Legal Minefield

Tips+Tools: Legal Minefield


Sex between serodiscordant partners isn't just a health issue. There are also thorny legal complications that arise over informing a partner of your serostatus, since laws vary widely depending on where you live. Thirty-two states criminalize to some degree the failure to notify a sexual partner that you have HIV before engaging in sexual activity. Penalties can range from enhancing a sentence for an HIVer for a concurrent crime (such as rape) to making it a felony to expose a partner to the virus (including by prostitution). Further complicating the issue, in some states transmission doesn't even have to occur. To find out the law in your state, click on 'State Criminal Statutes on HIV Transmission' in the Related Links box on this page.

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