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Todd Heywood

Todd A. Heywood is a freelance writer based in Lansing, Michigan. He specializes in writing about HIV policy issues in the U.S. Find him on Facebook and @ToddHeywood on Twitter.

Latest by Todd Heywood

Court Rules Michael Johnson HIV Criminalization Conviction Was 'Trial-by-Ambush' Img
News

Court Rules Michael Johnson HIV Criminalization Conviction Was 'Trial-by-Ambush'

The court has ordered a new trial for Michael Johnson, who is serving 30 years on HIV criminalization charges, because the state withheld phone recordings from the jail where he was housed.

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Personal Stories

I Was Attacked for Being Gay and HIV Positive. Here's How I'm Fighting Back.

Two men came to Todd Heywood's home for what they said was a date. Instead, they beat and robbed him in an intentional attack against a gay man with HIV. Months later, he faces the fallout from this stigma-fueled crime.

How HIV Stigma Compounded the Trauma of a Violent Anti-Gay Attack Img
Sexual Abuse & Trauma

How HIV Stigma Compounded the Trauma of a Violent Anti-Gay Attack

Even as he testified as the victim of a brutal anti-gay attack, Todd Heywood faced HIV ignorance and stigma. Now he speaks out against HIV disclosure and criminalization policies that he says can increase risk of violence.

HIV Law in 30-Year Michael Johnson Conviction Is Unconstitutional and 'Grossly Disproportionate,' Advocacy Groups Tell Court
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HIV Law in 30-Year Michael Johnson Conviction Is Unconstitutional and 'Grossly Disproportionate,' Advocacy Groups Tell Court

HIV groups say the law used to sentence the 23-year-old Johnson to prison for 30 years is "at odds with everything we know about HIV today," showing "invidious discrimination against people living with HIV."

Michigan State Representative Jon Hoadley with advocate Kelly Doyle
News

State by State, People With HIV and Allies Fight to Change Laws

Advocates across the U.S. are mounting a robust movement to replace outdated and often scientifically unsound laws related to HIV that have led to the prosecution and imprisonment of people with HIV, Todd Heywood reports.

HIV Stigma on the Beat Img
News

HIV Stigma on the Beat

As a longtime reporter, Todd Heywood pulled over to investigate a traffic stop in his neighborhood, never anticipating it would become a story about HIV stigma and misinformation. Then a police offer pulled back from shaking his hand

It's Time to Retire the Medical Category of AIDS Img
News

It's Time to Retire the Medical Category of AIDS

Creating false categories to contain the virus in our body creates classes of haves and have nots in our community. Whether one has an AIDS diagnosis, an HIV stage 3 diagnosis or an HIV stage 1 diagnosis, we all have HIV disease. We are all on our ow...

Warning HIV Outbreak Sign Appears on Indiana Highway Img
News

Warning HIV Outbreak Sign Appears on Indiana Highway

The Indiana Department of Transportation put electronic signs on the highway about HIV testing. Who is responsible for this ill-advised construction sign warning of an HIV outbreak?

Stigma Fuels Small Town HIV Hysteria in Michigan Img
News

Stigma Fuels Small Town HIV Hysteria in Michigan

After the police issue a press release on an alleged female sex worker with HIV, a public health spokesperson fuels the flames with inaccurate language about HIV risk. Todd Heywood reports.

Banking Giant JPMorgan Chase Sued Over Alleged HIV Discrimination Img

Banking Giant JPMorgan Chase Sued Over Alleged HIV Discrimination

"For a large and sophisticated corporate entity like Chase to treat an employee with a serious disability so cavalierly is simply inexcusable in this day and age," said the president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)...