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Mississippi


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


Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions2
Number of convictions2
Applicable laws

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-27-14(1)

Exposure to HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C

It shall be a felony for any person to knowingly expose another person to HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. Prior knowledge and willing consent to the exposure is a defense to a charge brought under this statute.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-27-14(2)

Endangerment by bodily substance with knowledge of HIV status

A person commits the crime of endangerment by bodily substance if the person attempts to cause or knowingly causes a corrections employee, a visitor to a correctional facility, or another prisoner or offender to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, or saliva. A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor unless the person violating this section knows that he is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C, in which case it is a felony.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-27-14(3)

Penalties for felony HIV exposure or endangerment by bodily fluids

Any person convicted of a felony violation of this section shall be imprisoned for not less than three years nor more than ten years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 41-23-2

Violating the lawful order of a health officer

Any person who shall knowingly and willfully violate the lawful order of the county, district or state health officer where that person is afflicted with a life-threatening communicable disease or the causative agent thereof shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not more than five years, or both.

Discussion

From the information received, it appears that although there was an HIV-related prosecution prior to 2004 under general laws, it wasn’t until 2008 that anyone was prosecuted under 2004's HIV-specific statutes.

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

Latest cases and news can be found at:  http://www.hivjustice.net/country/us/ms-mississippi/