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New York

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

Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions6
Applicable laws

NY Penal Law § 120.25

Reckless endangerment in the first degree. A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, herecklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death toanother person. Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a class D felony.


It appears that HIV is not included in the definition of venereal disease under NY Pub. Health Law § 2307 Venereal disease; person knowing himself to be infected.“Any person who, knowing himself or herself to be infected with an infectious venereal disease, has sexual intercourse with another shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” Consquently, there are no reports of prosecutions of persons with HIV under this statute.

However, general laws - notably reckless endangment - have been used to prosecute both sexual and non-sexual (ie. spitting, biting) alleged HIV exposure and transmission.

It is not known exactly how many HIV-related cases have been prosecuted in New York State.  Our figures are based on the Positive Justice Project's analysis. However, as there have been three cases  since 2009, this is likely to be a significant under-representation.

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/ny-new-york/