This (FREE) educational talk and panel discussion will focus on HIV criminalization in the US, and more specifically Missouri’s HIV- criminal laws. Part of a forthcoming show entitled Mapping Stigma: An Archive of the Contracting an Issue Project
Social Movement Consultant / Community Organizer
Artist / University of Missouri Extension
KC Care Health Center
Jada Hicks, Esq.
Staff Attorney / The Center for HIV Law and Policy
Missouri Organizer, Reproaction
MO HIV Justice Coalition member
Jeanette Mott Oxford
Executive Director /Empower Missouri
About HIV Criminalization
HIV-specific criminal laws were passed as part of emergency legislation in response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Public policy, however, has not kept pace. 34 states and two U.S. territories have laws that criminalize the behavior of HIV positive people. Missouri prosecutes & punishes the inability to prove HIV disclosure prior to sex or needle sharing, even when no transmission occurs, with 5-30 years in prison. The laws in the US vary in detail, but many are harsh in nature with some having penalties, including incarceration, that is usually reserved for the most serious of crimes. Many of these laws are applicable whether or not actual harm has been demonstrated or caused. This response is formed from hysteria, racism, and/or homophobia, and disproportionately affects people of color and the transgender community.