From Sickness to Badness: Michigan HIV Law as a Site of Social Control.

Show simple item record Hoppe, Trevor Alexander en_US 2014-10-13T18:19:02Z NO_RESTRICTION en_US 2014-10-13T18:19:02Z 2014 en_US 2014 en_US
dc.description.abstract In the state of Michigan, people infected with HIV are required by law to disclose their HIV-status to their partners before engaging in sexual contact. Failure to do so is a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison. Like statutes in 32 states with HIV-specific criminal statutes, Michigan’s law does not require that the sexual contact pose a risk of HIV transmission. Indeed, despite scientific advances in treating and managing HIV disease, prosecutions for nondisclosure have continued unabated and appear to be on the rise. My dissertation explains this paradoxical trend by arguing that Michigan’s HIV disclosure law does not serve to control HIV as a virus but rather to identify it as a moral infection requiring interdiction and punishment. To make this case, my dissertation tackles three interrelated issues. In Chapter 2, I analyze how local health officials employ epidemiological surveillance technologies (such as contact tracing) in order to enforce the larger “health threat to others” statute, which includes the felony nondisclosure law but also confers upon public health authorities additional powers for controlling HIV-positive individuals. In Chapter 3, I analyze how legal actors transform HIV into a criminal matter in a court of law by framing nondisclosure as murderous and HIV-positive defendants as reckless killers – even in cases where the sexual contact alleged posed no risk of transmission. Finally, in Chapter 4, I examine disparities in conviction outcomes to show that heterosexuals bear the brunt of the law’s application – particularly black men and white women. While many proponents of HIV legal reform have argued that HIV-specific criminal laws are bad for public health, I conclude by arguing that the way state actors respond to these cases does not suggest that they are primarily interested in promoting public health. Their patterned reliance on punitive and moral discourses – as well as their ignorance and dismissal of scientific evidence – suggests that their understanding of these cases is tainted by stigma and morality. These ethical dimensions bear only a tenuous relationship to public health and medical evidence: their logic does not depend on science. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject HIV en_US
dc.subject Public Health en_US
dc.subject Criminalization en_US
dc.subject Social Control en_US
dc.subject Law en_US
dc.subject Stigma en_US
dc.title From Sickness to Badness: Michigan HIV Law as a Site of Social Control. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Women's Studies and Sociology en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Halperin, David M. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Anspach, Renee en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Burgard, Sarah Andrea en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Levitsky, Sandra R. en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Government Information en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Law and Legal Studies en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Public Health en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Social Sciences (General) en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Sociology en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Women's and Gender Studies en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Government Information and Law en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Health Sciences en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Social Sciences en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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