Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness

book cover: "Punishing Disease"
Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Event Date: 
March 21, 2019
Event Time: 
4:00pm to 5:30pm
2239 Lane Hall
Event Accessibility : 
Ramp and elevator access at the E. Washington Street entrance (by the loading dock). There are accessible restrooms on the south end of Lane Hall, on each floor of the building. A gender neutral restroom is available on the first floor.
Event Tags: 
book cover: "Punishing Disease"

From the very beginning of the epidemic, AIDS was linked to punishment. Calls to punish people living with HIV—mostly stigmatized minorities—began before doctors had even settled on a name for the disease. Punishing Disease looks at how HIV was transformed from sickness to badness under the criminal law and investigates the consequences of inflicting penalties on people living with disease. Now that the door to criminalizing sickness is open, what other ailments will follow? With moves in state legislatures to extend HIV-specific criminal laws to include diseases such as hepatitis and meningitis, the question is more than academic.


Trevor Hoppe research analyzes the social control of sex by institutions of medicine, law, and public health. His recently published book, Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness (University of California Press) analyzes the rise of punitive and coercive responses to HIV; Punishing Disease was awarded the 2018 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Studies. He is also the co-editor of the recently published collection, The War on Sex (co-edited with David Halperin with Duke University Press), which analyzes the punitive social control of sex (and was a finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Studies). In addition to these book projects, Hoppe is also researching and publishing on the growth and impact of American sex offender registries, particularly the use of “sexually violent predator” statutes that allow for the civil confinement of sex offenders beyond their court-ordered sentence.

He earned his PhD in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan in 2014.