USA - New Hampshire

Last updated on: 31 August 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

USA - New Hampshire
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

RSA § 631:2 Second Degree Assault.

I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he:

(a) Knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another; or       

(b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon, except that if the deadly weapon is a firearm, he shall be sentenced in accordance with RSA 651:2, II-g; or      

(c) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or     

(d) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to a child under 13 years of age; or     

(e) Recklessly or negligently causes injury to another resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.

RSA § 631:3 Reckless Conduct.

I. A person is guilty of reckless conduct if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another in danger of serious bodily injury.

II. Reckless conduct is a class B felony if the person uses a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V. All other reckless conduct is a misdemeanor.

RSA § 625:11, V. Definition of deadly weapon

..any firearm, knife or other substance or thing which, in the manner it is used, intended to be used, or threatened to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.


Key wording in the law: 

Recklessly causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon


In State of New Hampshire v. C. J. [01-S-726, May 23, 2002], CJ – accused of criminal HIV exposure – argued that second-degreee assault and reckless conduct charges were not specific enough about HIV being a deadly weapon and were, therefore, unconstitutional.

Superior Court Justice Patricia C Coffey found that a fair reading of the indictment would allow a reasonable juror to find that a person infected with HIV who engages in unprotected sex is using his sexual organs as a dangerous weapon. A reasonable juror may find that HIV is commonly transmitted through unprotected sex, and that HIV constitutes a serious bodily injury because it is a serious impairment to one's health that often results in death.”

(There is no record of CJ being tried for second-degree assault or reckless conduct, however, nor is there any information on the outcome of the trial)

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

Laws and regulations relating to entry, stay or residence in the country: 

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that all current restrictions affecting people with HIV from entering or migrating to the United States are lifted as of January 4, 2010. The final rule was published in the Federal Registry November 2, 2009. It stated: "As a result of this final rule, aliens will no longer be inadmissible into the United States based solely on the ground they are infected with HIV, and they will not be required to undergo HIV testing as part of the required medical examination for U.S. immigration." New instructions are being provided to panel physicians and civil surgeons who administer medical exams as for immigration purposes, but it may take time until they are all aware of the change, so residency seekers should be prepared. The revised instructions can be found at:

From January 4, 2010, people living with HIV can enter the U.S. like anybody else.

Guidance on the final rule can be found here:

Important note for visitors under the visa waiver program (for countries where a visa is not required to travel to the USA) and are living with HIV, please note that HIV is no longer considered a communicable disease for entry purposes. When submitting the online ESTA form to clear your entry to the U.S., it is important that you do check "no“ for the question about communicable diseases. HIV is no longer considered as such by the U.S. authorities.

Customs regulations require people entering with prescription medication like antiretroviral drugs to carry a doctor’s certificate in English, stating that the drugs are required to treat a personal condition. This requirement applies to all prescription drugs.

Medication should always be carried in hand luggage, as checked luggage may be delayed or get lost. If you are carrying-on liquid medication exceeding 3 ounces / 100 ml, you must declare it at the checkpoint for inspection.

For updated information, please go to:

Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: No law

Female to Female Relationships: Legal

Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals

For updated information, please go to: