Ohio Supreme Court issues its unanimous decision …
(Andrew Welsh-Huggins, AP) The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a state law requiring HIV-infected individuals to tell partners of their status before having sex.
The court’s unanimous decision rejected a First Amendment challenge, finding that the law regulates conduct, not speech.
The state has a valid interest in curbing HIV transmission, said Justice Terrence O’Donnell.
The law’s “treatment of individuals with knowledge of their HIV-positive status who fail to disclose that status to a sexual partner furthers the state interest here,” O’Donnell wrote.
At issue was the 2015 conviction of an Ohio man for failing to tell his girlfriend he had HIV.
Thirty-four states have HIV-specific assault laws.
More than 300 people have been charged under these laws since 2008.