By Anne Yeager
Court News Ohio
The Ohio Supreme Court recently heard a case on whether a state law that mandates HIV-positive people to disclose their status to their partners is constitutional.
Orlando Batista was convicted of felonious assault and sentenced to eight years in prison because he failed to tell his girlfriend he had HIV before they started a sexual relationship.
Attorneys for Batista argue the statute violates his constitutional right to equal protection because the law is prejudicial against those with HIV.
"This case is bigger than him. This case is about all HIV positive people in Ohio. It's about the burden that is passed on to his victims that requires them for the rest of their life to disclose their HIV positive status to sexual partners."
But the state of Ohio argues that law protects people from contracting the virus.
"It is a recognition that when you have sexual conduct, there are two parties to that conduct. And the other person has a right to know and be party to the decision to engage in the sexual conduct. "
The justices will take the case under advisement.