HIV Criminalization in Georgia: Evaluation of Transmission Risk

By Brad Sears and Shoshana K. Goldberg

Georgia’s HIV criminal laws may undermine the state’s public health efforts by deterring people from seeking HIV testing and treatment, stigmatizing those with HIV, and disproportionately affecting the communities most impacted by HIV, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and the formerly incarcerated.

Using data from the Georgia Crime Information Center at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, researchers found that from 1988 through September 2017, there were 74 convictions under Georgia’s HIV criminal laws—approximately two to three convictions per year. None of the convictions required intent to transmit HIV as an element of the crime, and none required proof of actual transmission of HIV.

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