USA - Utah

Last updated on: 11 October 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Utah
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes
Number of people prosecuted: 
Min. 1
Number of people convicted: 
Min. 1
Applicable law: 

Utah Code Ann. § 26-6-5

Any person who willfully or knowingly introduces any communicable or infectious disease into any county, municipality, or community is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1309

A person who is convicted of prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, or sexual solicitation is guilty of a third degree felony if he or she: (1) is HIV positive, (2) has actual knowledge of his or her HIV positive status, and (3) has received written personal notice of the positive test result from a law enforcement agency.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-102.6

Any prisoner or person detained who knows he or she has HIV commits a third degree felony if he or she throws or otherwise propels his or her saliva at a peace or correctional officer and it comes into contact with any portion of the officer's face (including the eyes or mouth) or comes into contact with any open wound on the officer's body.

Key Cases: 

In September 2010, an HIV-positive sex worker was sentenced to five years imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree felony solicitation.758 The woman had tested positive for HIV in 2007 after her fourth prostitution conviction. She had also been imprisoned in 2008 and
2009 for prostitution.

Excerpted from: Positive Justice Project. Ending & Defending Against HIV Criminalization, A  Manual For Advocates: Vol 1 States and Federal Laws and Prosecutions. Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York. Fall 2010 (with additional laws and cases through December 2011).

Discussion: 

Although there are no laws against non-disclosure during consensual (unpaid) sex, HIV-positive persons convicted of sex offenses, particularly prostitution, may receive increased sentences.

In 2010, Utah’s statutes related to HIV exposure were considered for amendment that would broaden their terms. A proposed senate bill would eliminate any requirement that an HIV-positive person have a previous conviction for a prostitution-related offense or knowledge of an HIV-positive test result.  It appears that this bill has not yet passed.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Positive Justice Project. Ending & Defending Against HIV Criminalization, A  Manual For Advocates: Vol 1 States and Federal Laws and Prosecutions. Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York. Fall 2010 (with additional laws and cases through December 2011)

Further reading: 

Positive Justice Project. Ending & Defending Against HIV Criminalization, A  Manual For Advocates: Vol 1 States and Federal Laws and Prosecutions. Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York. Fall 2010 (with additional laws and cases through December 2011).

Recent cases can be found at: Positive Justice Project. Prosecutions and Arrests for HIV Exposure in the United States, 2008–2012. Center for HIV Law and Policy, 2012.

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: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/technica.htm

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

Guidance on the new rule is published here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/laws/telegrams/telegrams_4631.html and an HIV Travel and Immigration FAQ brochure is available for download in English and Spanish here: http://immigrationequality.org/template.php?pageid=176.

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: www.hivrestrictions.org

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: http://ilga.org