Laws

Our Guiding Principles for Modernizing Indiana Laws that Criminalize HIV

Modernizing HIV criminal laws is preferable to full repeal in Indiana.

A model law must include:

  • Criminal intent to transmit and conduct likely to transmit HIV.
  • Punishment proportionate to the actual harm.
  • No new crimes or increased penalties for any other disease.
  • Must exclude diseases that are airborne/casually transmitted.
  • Must reflect modern HIV science
  • We also aim to remove stigmatizing language in the law.

IC= Indiana Code; IC-16 refers to Health Code IC-35 refers to Criminal Code

Indiana has submitted several House Bills during the past years to help educate and bring awareness to representatives about the issues surrounding Indiana HIV laws.

Select the year on the left to view past Bill efforts.

  • HB1032-2022 removes 1980s/90s era sentencing enhancements and criminal offenses related to HIV that were based on stigma and misinformation about people who are HIV positive.
    **HB1032 Advocacy Fact Sheet

HEA1340-2021 eliminating stigmatizing language in the criminal code based on HIV status.

HEA1182-2020 eliminated stigmatizing and outdated HIV science language in the public health code and made HIV-related science updates.

HB1325-2019 Aimed to eliminate stigmatizing language, make HIV-related science updates, repeal and modernize two outdated HIV criminal codes (Did not pass

Change the Law – End the Stigma

Indiana Laws

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  • IC 16-41-7-1  Duty to inform persons at risk;
  • IC 16-41-7-2: Reporting of persons posing serious and present risk or at risk
  • IC 16-41-7-3: Notification by physician
  • IC 16-41-7-4: Investigation of persons with serious communicable disease; notification of persons at risk
  • IC 16-41-7-5: Violations

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Knowing or intentional violation or failure to comply with 16-41-7-1 (Duty to Inform) is a Level 6 Felony  (punishable by up to 3 yrs. in prison and a $10,000 fine); every day constitutes a new violation.

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Together these three codes (IC 16, 41, 17; IC-41-14-17; and IC 35-45-21-1) make it a felony for HIV positive persons to donate or sell their semen, blood, or plasma. The law does not apply to people who donate semen or blood for research purposes or notify the blood center that the blood or blood component must be discarded and not used for any purpose.

  1. It is a Level 5 felony (up to six years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine), for a person to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally donate, sell, or transfer blood or semen for artificial insemination that contains HIV.
  2. If the act results in HIV transmission, however, the level of the offense is not entirely clear. Under IC 35-45-21-1, it is a Level 3 felony (up to twenty years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine). Yet under IC 16-41-14-17, it is a Level 4 felony (up to twelve years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine). It appears that during the major revision of Indiana’s criminal code, which added 35-45-21-1 as a new statute, replacing 35-42-1-7, effective July 1, 2014 – an oversight occurred which resulted in this contradiction.

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Makes it a felony for HIV positive persons to expose others to any bodily fluid, including those not known to transmit HIV. Specifically, a person who knowingly or intentionally:

  1. In a rude, insolent, or angry manner places any bodily fluid or waste on another person; commits battery, a class B misdemeanor [Class A misdemeanor if bodily injury occurs]; if serious bodily injury occurs, it is a level 5 felony.
  2. This code includes sentence enhancement for HIV, Hepatitis [unspecified] and TB and makes it a level 6 felony if the person knew or recklessly failed to know that the bodily fluid or waste placed on another person was infected with hepatitis, TB, or HIV.
  3. And further sentence enhancement for just HIV – becomes a level 5 felony if the person placed the bodily fluid or waste on a public safety official.

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This code also makes it a felony for HIV positive persons to expose others to, or with the intent for others to ingest, any bodily fluid, including those not known to transmit HIV. Specifically, a person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:

  1. Places human body fluid or fecal waste in a location with the intent that another person will involuntarily touch, or ingest, the bodily fluid or fecal waste commits malicious mischief, a class B misdemeanor [if ingest, then Class A misdemeanor].
  2. Includes sentence enhancement for hepatitis A-G, HIV or TB – Level 6 felony if the person knew or recklessly failed to know that the body fluid or fecal waste was infected with the said mentioned viruses/TB
  3. It is a Level 5 felony if it results in transmission of hepatitis A-G or TB. But allows for
    further sentence enhancement for HIV – Level 4 felony if it results in transmission of HIV.