Update April 2017: Michael is winning! This Buzzfeed article explains where Michael’s case is at right now. The district attorney’s plot to keep him in prison is up in the air, and we’re hoping Michael could be out on bail soon. More soon.

Update January 2017: In late December, Michael’s conviction was overturned! However, the DA has appealed the ruling and he continues to live in lock up. We will update as we get more information.


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At 23 years old, in July 2015, Michael Johnson received a sentence of 30 and a half years in prison for allegedly transmitting and “exposing” others to HIV. He’s now confined in Missouri, far from his family in Indiana.

Johnson has just begun the years-long process of appealing his case using a public defender (he can’t afford a private attorney), while we, a coalition of activists out of the Bay Area in California organize for his freedom.

Michael asked that we include this message:

Help share the message about Michael Johnson’s story by telling your friends and family what the criminalization of HIV can do to negatively impact someone’s life and community. Help us get to our goal of decriminalizing HIV in the US and around the world.

Read more about Michael’s case at Buzzfeed and Truthout.