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Oklahoma


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


Data from the GNP+ Global Criminalisation Scan

Number of prosecutions6
Applicable laws

Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1192.1

It shall be unlawful for any person – knowing he or she has HIV and with intent to infect another – to engage in conduct reasonably likely to result in the transfer of the person's own blood, bodily fluids containing visible blood, semen or vaginal secretions into the bloodstream of another, or through the skin or other membranes of another person, except during in utero transmission of blood or bodily fluids, if the other person did not consent to the transfer or consented without first having been informed that the offender had HIV.

Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1031

Any person who engages in prostitution with knowledge that he or she is infected with HIV shall be guilty of a felony.

Both of the above are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-519

It is a felony for any person, after becoming infected with a venereal disease and before being pronounced cured by a physician in writing, to marry any other person or to expose any other person by the act of copulation or sexual intercourse to such venereal disease or to liability to contract the venereal disease. (“Venereal disease” is defined to include diseases which may be transmitted from one person to another through or by means of sexual intercourse and found and declared by medical science or accredited schools of medicine to be infectious or contagious, § 1-517.)

Discussion

Oklahoma's felony communicable disease statute that penalises exposure to venereal diseases was enacted long before HIV and there has never been a prosecution against an HIV-positive person under the statute.

According to media reports, since 2003 three individuals have been prosecuted for alleged HIV exposure due to non-disclosure prior to sex, and two have been prosecuted for alleged HIV exposure via spitting or biting. 

Since not all cases are reported by media, this number should be considered a minimum.

Given that there are an estimated 4,523 people living with (diagnosed) HIV in Oklahoma (Source: Oklahoma State Department of Health,  prosecutions per capita of PLHIV are estimated to be a minimum of 1.33 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.

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