Conclusion

Twitter

  • Australia: How to achieve #HIV criminal law reform - Repealing Section 19A: How we got there, by @paulkidd http://t.co/QdvT4dJYDM #Repeal19A 28 May 2015
  • Australia: Victoria’s HIV-specific criminal law, Section 19A, finally repealed today http://t.co/Axm9iHkE92 @paulkidd @livingposvic @VACorg 28 May 2015
  • Australia: Victoria's HIV-specific criminal law, #19A, finally repealed. Live Tweets as it happened from @paulkidd https://t.co/VWVU5uKOqI 28 May 2015
  • US: Texas law #SB779 that would have allowed HIV test results to be used in any criminal proceedings is now dead. Advocacy and sanity wins! 27 May 2015
  • Malawi: High Court rules mandatory HIV testing is unconstitutional. Congrats to the 11 litigants and @Follow_SALC http://t.co/yUeCt27tvU 22 May 2015
  • Canada's legal approach to HIV non-disclosure and 'treatment as prevention' policies are not compatible http://t.co/Fx2bWLRhSr #HIVCan 21 May 2015
  • Czech Republic: Public Health Protection Act passed yesterday without controversial mandatory HIV testing provision for key populations. 21 May 2015
  • Czech Republic: Yesterday the Chamber of Deputies removed the mandatory HIV testing provision from the Public... http://t.co/shEV4f1Vvz 21 May 2015
  • Russia: Man gets 3 years in prison for allegedly infecting his girlfriend without disclosing he was living with HIV. http://t.co/g4UhzbfxoK 20 May 2015
  • @wondermann5 Yes, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of unjust HIV prosecutions in the US and globally! See: http://t.co/3wTOE1g0tL 15 May 2015
  • RT @IDsMic: #MichaelJohnson faces life in prison for infecting another with HIV — and that is unacceptable http://t.co/NaI2QnWNXL http://t.… 15 May 2015
  • RT @aaronlaxton: If judge follows jury's recommendations #MichaelJohnson will be 75 y/o when he is released from prison. 15 May 2015
  • MT @C4SexualJustice: 'Tiger Mandingo' is guilty because Missouri law ignores science #MichaelJohnson #HIVisnotacrime http://t.co/IROOYwom9Z 15 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: Defence lawyer Shime: it's important, necessary for scientific experts to step up, assist court to understand #HIV, limit crim… 01 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: Defence lawyer Jonathan Shime: outlines racialization of #HIV criminalization in Canada, particular impact on Black men #CAHR201 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: Key roles for scientists in limiting unjust #HIV criminalization include educating crim justice actors, testifying as experts … 01 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: Cécile Kazatchkine of @AIDSLAW gives overview of current troubling scope of #HIV criminalization in Canadian law per #SCC Mabi… 01 May 2015
  • RT @MalikaHSharma: great overview of how & why #HIV #criminalization bad for ppl & public health #CAHR2015 @HIVJusticeNet #notevidencebased01 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: @edwinjbernard: scientists, clinicians have played and will play a key role in limiting unjust, overbroad #HIV criminalization… 01 May 2015
  • RT @AIDSLAW: @edwinjbernard: scientific evidence *has* in fact helped limit #HIV criminalization in other countries, less so in Canada so f… 01 May 2015

We have asked whether criminal laws and prosecutions represent sound policy responses to conduct that carries the risk of HIV transmission. On the one hand, it is obviously reprehensible for a person knowingly to infect another with HIV or any other life-endangering health condition. On the other hand, using criminal sanctions for conduct other than clearly intentional transmission may well infringe upon human rights and undermine important public policy objectives. We accept that the use of criminal law may be warranted in some circumstances, such as in cases of intentional transmission of HIV or as an aggravating factor in cases of rape and defilement. Individual parliaments will determine the specific circumstances, depending on their local context. Before rushing to legislate, however, we should give careful consideration to the fact that passing HIV-specific criminal legislation can: further stigmatize persons living with HIV; provide a disincentive to HIV testing; create a false sense of security among people who are HIV-negative; and, rather than assisting women by protecting them against HIV infection, impose on them an additional burden and risk of violence or discrimination. In addition, there is no evidence that criminal laws specific to HIV transmission will make any significant impact on the spread of HIV or on halting the epidemic. Therefore, priority must be given to increasing access to comprehensive and evidence-informed prevention methods in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Paragraphs 15-18, First Global Parliamentary Meeting on HIV/AIDS. Final Conclusions: criminalization of transmission, 2007.1

The pursuit of justice can sometimes conflict with other important policy goals. Debates about whether or not potential or actual HIV exposure or transmission should be within the purview of the criminal justice system often hinge on the question of what impact laws and prosecutions may have on a wide range of people and on the course of the epidemic itself. A close examination of the intended and unintended consequences of such criminalisation, from both a public health and human rights perspective, raises vital questions that should be considered by everyone with a stake in the matter.

It is hoped that the information provided in this book will allow for the criminal justice system to be fair and rational in dealing with individuals living with HIV, and that policy influencers and policymakers, including parliamentarians, use this information to pass (or repeal) laws that work towards mitigating the impacts of the HIV pandemic, and advance universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.

References

  1. First Global Parliamentary Meeting on HIV/AIDS Parliaments and Leadership in combating HIV/AIDS. Manila, Philippines, November 2007
This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.