Is It Illegal To Knowingly Pass On An STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease)?

What if you engage in sexual intercourse with someone and later find out you received an STD, and even worse, that they knew they had it? Is it a crime? In Michigan, yes, however there are some exceptions. In Michigan, Statute 333.5210 states:

333.5210 Sexual penetration as felony; definition.

Sec. 5210.

(1) A person who knows that he or she has or has been diagnosed as having acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome related complex, or who knows that he or she is HIV infected, and who engages in sexual penetration with another person without having first informed the other person that he or she has acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome related complex or is HIV infected, is guilty of a felony.

(2) As used in this section, “sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, but emission of semen is not required.

This means that in the case of HIV and AIDS, it is not only illegal to transmit the disease if you know you have it, but it is also a felony to engage in any type of sexual penetration, even extremely slight, without telling the person that you have the disease whether they transmit it or not. In Michigan, however, this statute only applies to HIV and AIDS, and not any other STD. If convicted, a person can face a fine and/or jail time.

In many states and situations you can also file suit for a civil matter instead of criminal. Charges could range from assault or battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, neglect or even attempted murder, depending on the case and the jurisdiction. At this point, almost every state has some sort of law or regulation regarding the transmission of STD’s to someone who knows that they are a carrier of the disease. Some states laws are more relaxed and include all types of diseases, while others have very specific regulations.

If you receive a STD through a rape, the rules are different due to the severity of rape in general. This statue is used for cases in which there was consent to the sexual penetration, however the person knowingly put you at risk for transmitting an STD without you knowing about it.

If you want to see what types of laws are in your area, check out this website for more help:


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Filed under Assault, Kristen Guralczyk

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