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

Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions33
Number of convictions19
Applicable laws

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2903

No person, with knowledge that the person has tested positive for HIV, shall knowingly do any of the following: (1) Engage in sexual conduct with another person without disclosing his or her HIV positive status to the other person prior to engaging in the sexual conduct, (2) Engage in sexual conduct with a person whom the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe lacks the mental capacity to appreciate the significance of the knowledge that the offender is HIV positive, or (3) Engage in sexual conduct with a person under 18 who is not the spouse of the offender. Violation of this provision is a felony of the second degree. If the victim is a peace officer or an investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation and suffers serious physical harm as a result of the offense, it is a felony in the first degree.

("Sexual conduct" means vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; it does not include the insertion of an instrument, apparatus, or other object that is not a part of the body into the vaginal or anal opening of another, unless the offender knew at the time of the insertion that the instrument, apparatus, or other object carried the offender’s bodily fluid.)

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§2907.24, 2907.25

No person, with knowledge that the person has tested positive for HIV, shall engage in, or solicit another person to engage in, sexual activity for hire

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2907.241

A person who commits “loitering to engage in prostitution” commits a fifth degree felony if the person commits the offense with the knowledge that he or she has tested positive for HIV.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2921.38

No person, with knowledge that the person is HIV positive and with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person, shall cause or attempt to cause the other person to come into contact with blood, semen, urine, feces, or another bodily substance by throwing the bodily substance at the other person, by expelling it upon the other person, or in any other manner.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2927.13

No person, with knowledge that he or she is HIV positive, shall sell or donate his/her blood, plasma, or a product of his/her blood, if he or she knows or should know the blood, plasma, or product of his/her blood is being accepted for the purpose of transfusion to another individual.


Between May 2009 and September 2011, a total of eleven cases were reported in the media, involving non-disclosure prior to sex (5 ), sex work whilst HIV-positive (3), spitting whilst HIV-positive (2), and biting whilst HIV-positive (1).

These media reports suggest that HIV-related prosecutions have be occurring more frequently than in most other US states in the past few years, and also suggest that our total figures of arrests and prosecutions in Ohio may be significant underestimates.

Given that there are an estimated 17,109 people living with (diagnosed) HIV in Ohio (Source: Ohio Department of Health,  prosecutions per capita of PLHIV are estimated to be a minimum of 1.93 per 1000.

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/oh-ohio/