19 Law & Psychol. Rev. 259 (1995)
The Legal Ramifications in Criminal Law of Knowingly Transmitting AIDS

handle is hein.journals/lpsyr19 and id is 263 raw text is: THE LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS IN CRIMINAL LAW OF
The early 1980s marked the beginning of a health night-
mare: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).' More
than a decade later, AIDS continues to spread rapidly through-
out the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
reported 361,509 diagnosed cases of AIDS in the United States
from the first reported cases in June 1981 until the end of De-
cember 19932 In addition to those who already have AIDS, the
CDC estimates that another one million people in the United
States are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.3
Since there is no vaccination to prevent HIV infection and no
cure once infection has taken place, it is unlikely that the virus
will diminish in the near future.4
The fatality inflicted by AIDS has caused a great deal of
fear and panic in many Americans. As a result, individuals in-
fected with HIV are increasingly facing criminal charges such as
attempted murder and assault under traditional criminal stat-
utes for knowingly exposing others to HIV.' In addition to fac-
ing convictions under traditional criminal statutes, HIV-infected
individuals face convictions for transmitting or exposing another
to HIV under state public health statutes6 or under statutes
enacted specifically for HIV-infected individuals.7 Regardless of
1. Jeffrey S. Deutschman, Criminal Sanctions For Transmission of AIDS-An
Analysis of New Illinois Legislation, 4 CBA RECORD 32 (1990).
2. Cynthia Haddock et al., Knowledge and Self-reported Use of Universal Pre-
cautions in a University Teaching Hospital, 39 HOSPIrAL & HEALTH SERVICES ADMIN.
293 (Fall 1994).
3. Id.
4. Id.
5. Renee Cordes, Prosecuting HIV Cases: Solution or Problem?, 28 TRIAL 92
(Feb. 1992).
6. See, e.g., Simon Bronitt, Spreading Disease and the Criminal Law, 1994
CRIM. L. REv. 21, 22 (1994). The limited penalties under public health statutes may
encourage the prosecution to resort to traditional criminal statutes.
7. At least 25 states have HIV-specific statutes. Alabama: AL.- CODE § 22-11A-
21 (1990); Arkansas: ARK. CODE ANN. § 5-14-123 (Michie Supp. 1993); Colorado:

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