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Maryland


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


Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions8
Number of convictions5
Applicable laws

Md. Code Ann., Health-General § 18-601.1

A person with HIV who knowingly transfers or attempts to transfer the virus to another individual is guilty of a misdemeanor.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both.

A bill is proposed to change the law from a mismeanor to a felony, see attached text, and discussion below.

Discussion

Prosecutions for HIV exposure in Maryland have typically arisen under general criminal laws as opposed to the ‘knowing transfer of HIV’ statute. General criminal law charges occur regardless of whether HIV-positive persons exposed others to significant risks of HIV infection. In Maryland, reckless endangerment, which has been used in multiple prosecutions, is defined as recklessly engaging in “conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.”

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).

Lawmakers in Maryland are currently (April 2012) considering changing the state’s HIV-specific criminal law from a three-year misdemeanor to a 25-year felony.  (See full text of House Bill 622, above, and two articles attached below). 

In March 2012, Positive Justice Project members were featured on a popular Baltimore radio show to discuss the proposed legislation.

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/md-maryland/