Indiana continues their slide back into the American Dark Ages with news that HIV disclosure forms required by the state include medically inaccurate information and most likely violate the law. The forms are required by the state's "Duty to Warn" law, but each of Indiana's 92 counties are allowed to create their own documents resulting in a combination of conflicting and misinformed protocols.
Michigan Messenger reporter Todd Heywood has been covering the mishmash of forms that various states use to stigmatize HIV+ individuals and create criminals out of HIV+ people who have sex. Many of Indiana's forms, however, have several major inaccuracies. One doesn't include Hepatitis B, another disease listed under the law as requiring disclosure and has many other issues as well.
...The document says that prohibited sexual activity without disclosure includes mutual masturbation. The law, however, was specifically written to address "contact that has been demonstrated epidemiologically to transmit a dangerous communicable disease." There are no cases of HIV transmission as a result of mutual masturbation, and it is not considered a risk factor by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The document indicates that HIV-positive persons, even after disclosing his or her status, are prohibited from any "contact that has been demonstrated epidemiologically to transmit a dangerous communicable disease." That prohibition could be used to prosecute an HIV-positive mother who decides to get pregnant -- even if she is on anti-retroviral treatment, which has been proven to prevent prenatal transmission. This provision would also prohibit long term monogamous partners from having unprotected intercourse.
The Indiana State Department of Health refused to release the number of HIV infections due to mutual masturbation citing "confidentiality laws" even though they list comprehensive demographic info on their website. The truth is there are none. The state has so far declined to intervene or provide medically and legally accurate guidance.
The laws were created during the height of AIDS panic in the late 80s and many states have recently stopped using the forms. Michigan and Missouri have discouraged or outright discontinued using the documents so far this year alone.