Conclusion

Twitter

  • RT @iasociety: Now is the time to present your #research on a global stage. Submit your abstract for #AIDS2016 before Thursday https://t.co… 02 Feb 2016
  • RT @HIV_Ireland: #HIVcriminalisation laws may make #condomless sex more likely https://t.co/izi83p43AA #HIVtransmission #condoms 02 Feb 2016
  • RT @LiveHIVNeutral: #HIV is not transmitted under fully suppressive therapy: The #Swiss Statement – eight years later https://t.co/MCq50ius… 29 Jan 2016
  • RT @uspwn: Submit Your Abstract & Register for HIV Is Not a Crime II National Training Academy! https://t.co/MohhnI5ATw https://t.co/fbwraF… 29 Jan 2016
  • RT @paulkidd: Saliva CANNOT transmit HIV. This is a travesty. https://t.co/WrkKKJmVhy 29 Jan 2016
  • Uganda: End forced and coerced sterilization of women living with HIV - Sign the Petiition https://t.co/VIaewmlyQq via @UKChange 28 Jan 2016
  • US based cience writer is looking for miscarriages of justice in HIV criminalization cases. Jessica Wapner, a... https://t.co/TONNA87tKs 18 Jan 2016
  • RT @MalecheAllan: Jason of @UNAIDS is the final speaker @ the #FCAASummit on the issue of #HIVCriminalisation @MichelSidibe @HIVLawCom http… 07 Dec 2015
  • RT @flybyboy: Overwhelming consensus: we must modernize HIV laws to account for current scientific knowledge about infection @TheSeroProjec07 Dec 2015
  • RT @MalecheAllan: Receiving updates on #HIVCriminalisation in the USA at the #FCAASummit @HIVLawCom https://t.co/UbB6wLcTwP 07 Dec 2015
  • RT @flybyboy: If we are serious about human rights, we must work on HIV criminalization #FCAASummit 07 Dec 2015
  • RT @flybyboy: 72 countries have laws that criminalize HIV, 57 have had prosecutions/arrests #FCAASummit 07 Dec 2015
  • RT @scazal: Arranca el primer día de la reunión de financiamiento en VIH #FCAASummit https://t.co/UzDyojIgjy 07 Dec 2015
  • RT @MalecheAllan: We begin the #FCAASummit with a dicussion on Human Rights & HIV. #AIDSFunding @KELINKenya @HelenClarkUNDP https://t.co/Yt… 07 Dec 2015
  • What’s up with HIV laws in America? Great new video from @McClatchyDC https://t.co/5cUNvvdHs6 #hivisnotacrime #HIVcriminalisation# 23 Nov 2015
  • UK: @Law_Commission scoping paper rejects expanding HIV/STI law to prosecute non-disclosure or potential exposure https://t.co/yyfZeFYfam 09 Nov 2015
  • UK: No change to E&W HIV/STI criminalisation law/policy recommended by @Law_Commission pending a wider review. https://t.co/yyfZeFYfam 09 Nov 2015
  • New @IAPAC guidelines to achieve 90-90-90 targets recommend ending HIV criminalisation. (Thanks @DrJoe1234 and team) https://t.co/XAYD56kRve 06 Nov 2015
  • Bahrain: New HIV-specific law would criminalise #HIV non-disclosure to ‘authorities, their partners or relatives’ https://t.co/u6G4MIowmw 04 Nov 2015
  • #knowyourviralload Make routine #HIV viral load testing available to all https://t.co/05LPvcQlqS @_ARASAcomms @ITPCglobal 29 Oct 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.