Published February, 2024

Enforcement of HIV Criminalization in Maryland, The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law (2024)

Screenshot of report cover

Using data obtained from the Maryland State Administrative Office of the Courts, this study examines the enforcement of HIV criminalization laws in Maryland. [The] legislature enacted Section 18-601.1 during the 1989 legislative session. The law went into effect on July 1, 1989, [and] the statute has not been updated or amended since its original adoption in 1989.

The Williams Institute analyzed data from the state of Maryland about individuals who have been prosecuted for an HIV-related offense under Section 18-601.1 of the Maryland Health Code. These data were obtained from the Maryland State Administrative Office of the Courts. While previous comprehensive attempts to analyze the level of enforcement of Maryland’s HIV crime have identified less than six cases, our analysis revealed at least 104 prosecutions in the state because of an allegation of an HIV-related crime from 2000 to 2020.

Highlights from the report:

  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states and territories have laws that criminalize people living with HIV.
  • Black people, especially Black men, are overrepresented in HIV-related crimes in Maryland.
  • Over two-thirds of people charged with HIV-related crimes were charged in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, or Prince George's County.

Summary provided by The Williams Institute