The rate of conviction under HIV disclosure statutes varies greatly according to race, sex and sexual orientation, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP) reports.

Researchers analyzed trends in convictions in state laws that criminalize failure to disclose HIV status to a sex partner or exposing a partner to HIV without his or her consent. They looked at state law enforcement and legal records as well as newspaper records between 1992 and 2015 in Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee. Sex-based data on conviction rates was available only in the latter three states.

Findings were presented at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Paris (IAS 2017).

The researchers identified 387 HIV disclosure convictions, including 206 convictions in the three states with sex-based data available.

Overall, the conviction rate in the five states was 13 per 10,000 HIV diagnoses. Per 10,000 diagnoses, the individual state conviction rates were 98 in Missouri, 36 in Tennessee, 33 in Michigan, 21 in Louisiana and 6 in Florida.

When broken down by race or sex, the researchers found no differences between conviction rates. However, when they broke the data down by race and sex simultaneously, they found that per 10,000 diagnoses, the conviction rate was 11 among Black women, 25 among Black men, 24 among white men and 22 among white women. In other words, convictions are twice as common among Black men, white men and white women compared with Black women.

Broken down by sexual orientation, the conviction rate per 10,000 diagnoses was 20 among men who have sex with men (MSM) and 146 among men who have sex with women (MSW), including 9 among white MSM, 108 among white MSW, 8 among Black MSM and 47 among Black MSW.

To read the NATAP report, click here.