Published April, 2024

The Impact of HIV Criminalization in Louisiana, Louisiana Coalition on Criminalization and Health (LCCH) (2024)

In late 2023, the Louisiana Coalition on Criminalization and Health (LCCH) conducted a statewide, community-based study to understand the true impacts of the HIV “exposure” law on people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Louisiana, as well as its influence on public health and safety. The purpose was to investigate the effects of the HIV law on the overall well-being of the community, regardless of whether individuals are living with HIV.

LCCH conducted focus group discussions and community education sessions, followed by a public opinion survey, to gather insights about the impacts of Louisiana’s HIV “exposure” law from residents throughout the state. Further, focus group discussions included 78 individuals living with HIV from all nine public health regions in Louisiana.

Findings from community discussions suggest that most people, including those living with HIV, have very little understanding of the existing HIV “exposure” law. However, after learning more about the unintended impacts, most participants disagreed with the current legal consequences for not disclosing one’s HIV status in Louisiana.

Throughout these conversations, participants discussed how intersecting identities like race and sexual identity further intensified their fears of how the laws would be enforced against them, as a result of compounded discrimination. To read the full report with complete executive summary, click the links below. 

Summary content is from LCCH.