While we fight to survive COVID-19, vulnerable prisoners and those imprisoned because of Ohio’s old, outdated HIV laws ought to be released.

The Ohio Health Modernization Movement (OHMM) is a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in Ohio. On April 6, OHMM sent a letter to officials to officials in every Ohio county––including sheriffs, prosecutors and judges.

⚠️ These are the asks. Non-violent individuals at risk of harm from COVID-19 should be released. Incarcerated populations should be lowered by releasing pre-trial detainees, administrative detainees, cease arrests for breaking old, outdated laws that criminalize people living with HIV.

Immediate release of all non-violent individuals at higher risk of harm from COVID-19 infection, including people over 60, and those with underlying health conditions that infectious disease experts say increase their risk, e.g., lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a compromised immune system;

Rapidly decrease incarcerated populations by releasing people detained pre-trial, people detained for administrative reasons including failure to appear or parole violations, and people serving a sentence of a year or less; and

Cease arrests for offenses outlined in Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.11(B)(1), Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.24, Ohio Rev. Code § 241, Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.25, Ohio Rev. Code § 2921.38, and Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.14 that rely on an individual’s HIV status as proof of intent to harm, as well as all low level offenses.

The letter was sent from Kim Welter, who facilitates Ohio Health Modernization Movement. It was signed by Equality Ohio and many more people working for a better world for people living with HIV.

Caracole Inc.
Equality Ohio
Equitas Health
William Booth, Miami Valley Positives for Positives
The AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland
The “DIRT “Advocacy Movement
The Sankofa Initiative
We Think 4 a Change
Graig Cote
Olga Irwin, Positive Women’s Network
Gina Jakeway
Bryan C. Jones, HIV advocate/activist
Jerry Mallicoat, Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton
Naimah O’Neal, Lateefah’s Haven