Orlando Batista

photo of Ohio Supreme Court
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Supreme Court says a law requiring people living with HIV to disclose their status to potential sexual partners is constitutional and doesn’t violate free speech rights. 

Orlando Batista was sentenced in Hamilton County to eight years in prison for not telling his girlfriend he’s HIV positive. His lawyer Josh Thompson said his behavior was reprehensible, but the law perpetuates a stigma that keeps people from being tested and getting treatment.

Justice Judith French
OHIO COURT NEWS

The Ohio Supreme Court will rule on whether the free speech rights of people living with HIV are violated by a law requiring they disclose their status to potential sexual partners

In July 2014, Orlando Batista was indicted in Hamilton County for felonious assault – for having sex with his girlfriend without telling her he’s HIV positive. He admitted in court that he had also infected at least two other women, one of whom passed the virus onto their child.