Update May 2018: Michael finally has a release date of October 9, 2019. He is stoked!

Update January 2018: Michael still doesn’t have a set release date, but is expected to be out sometime this year. We are currently raising money so that Michael won’t leave prison with $0, which is the case with the millions of people who leave jails, prisons, and detention centers each year.

On MARCH 3, 2018 the radical queer dance party SHIPS IN THE NIGHT will be donating a portion of the door to Michael’s reentry fund. Bring your bill$ to The New Parish, 579 18th St in Oakland, from 9 PM to 2 AM, $7 (21+). Download a flyer about the event here.

Update December 2017: Michael is getting out soon! How soon we’re not sure, but he’s been moved to a prison camp that will hopefully be the last stop on his way out. Let us know if you are doing any work (or interested in doing any work) to help make his reentry as smooth as possible – he’s coming out with very little.


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.