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Georgia


For information on getting involved in HIV criminalization reform advocacy in Georgia, please email info@seroproject.com.


Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions20
Number of convictions10
Applicable laws

Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-60(c)

Any person who knows that he or she is HIV infected is guilty of a felony [punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten years] if he or she, without first disclosing his or her HIV status, (1) knowingly has sexual intercourse or performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; (2)knowingly shares a hypodermic needle or syringe with another person; (3)offers or consents to perform an act of sexual intercourse for money; (4)solicits another to perform or submit to an act of sodomy for money; or (5)donates blood, blood products, other body fluids, or any body organ or body part.

Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-60(d)

A person who knows he or she is HIV infected who commits an assault with the intent to transmit HIV, using his or her body fluids (blood, semen,or vaginal secretions), saliva, urine, or feces upon a peace or correctional officer while the officer is engaged in the performance of his or herofficial duties or on account of the officer's performance of his or her official duties is guilty of a felony [punishable by imprisonment for between five & twenty years].

Discussion

Though disclosure is a defense to prosecution, there are difficulties in proving whether or not disclosure actually occurred in these situations and such evidence normally depends on the words of one person against another. In a 2008 case (Ginn v. State), an HIV-positive woman was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and two years probation for reckless conduct when she allegedly engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse without disclosing her HIV status. She was convicted, despite the fact that two witnesses testified that the woman’s sexual partner was aware of her HIV-positive status, and the defendant testified that her sexual partner knew her HIV-positive status because it had been published on the front page of a local newspaper.

In a January 2009 case, a 38-year-old man from Georgia was sentenced to two years in jail and eight years probation after pleading guilty to reckless conduct for having sex with a woman without telling her he was HIV-positive. The HIV-positive man and his partner, who tested negative for HIV, met at a housing center for people living with HIV. The fact that he was living at a home solely for people living with HIV was not enough to be considered disclosure for the purposes of the reckless conduct statute.

Excerpted from: Positive Justice Project. Ending & Defending Against HIV Criminalization, A  Manual For Advocates: Vol 1 States and Federal Laws and Prosecutions. Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York. Fall 2010 (with additional laws and cases through December 2011).

Further reading

Positive Justice Project. Ending & Defending Against HIV Criminalization, A  Manual For Advocates: Vol 1 States and Federal Laws and Prosecutions. Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York. Fall 2010 (with additional laws and cases through December 2011).

Recent cases can be found at: Positive Justice Project. Prosecutions and Arrests for HIV Exposure in the United States, 2008–2012. Center for HIV Law and Policy, 2012.

Further cases and news can be found at: http://www.hivjustice.net/country/us/ga-georgia/