HIV Criminalization Laws in Missouri

By Brad Sears, Shoshana K. Goldberg, and Christy Mallory

Between 1990 and 2019, at least 593 people were arrested under Missouri laws that criminalize people living with HIV and hepatitis B and C. Of those, 318 people were convicted for the crimes with average sentences ranging from 2.9 to 10 years. To date, the estimated cost of incarceration related to HIV/hepatitis crimes is $17.7 million.

An analysis of data obtained from the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) – Criminal Justice Information Services finds that HIV/hepatitis criminalization laws were disproportionately enforced on the basis of race and sex, with Black men being the most likely to be arrested and convicted.

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