Conclusion

Twitter

  • Germany: Legal expert Jacob Hösl on the significance of recent Court rulings on HIV criminalisation - See more at: https://t.co/NUEVBWHngH 22 Apr 2016
  • Maintenant en français: “Ensemble nous pouvons faire de la justice universelle pour le VIH une réalité” https://t.co/C23ZDjFuSd #VIHjustice 20 Apr 2016
  • RT @CtrHIVLawPolicy: State of Missouri v. Michael L. Johnson, Amicus Brief, Missouri Court of Appeals, AIDS Law… https://t.co/dNXR6I2lPo 20 Apr 2016
  • RT @KELINKenya: Consultant for the Legal Environment Assessment (LEA) https://t.co/Hgr6DZHZjy 20 Apr 2016
  • Thank you @ejaforg for supporting work to end #HIV criminalisation https://t.co/oblwDFtDKz #HIVisnotacrime #HIVjusticeworldwide 18 Apr 2016
  • US: @kenpinkela denied appeal for unjust #HIV 'exposure' conviction. @PatrickMurphyPA and @POTUS must intervene https://t.co/QOeoncNwwH 14 Apr 2016
  • RT @WillVialls: HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE @HIVJusticeNet https://t.co/4oN17oFNMI 13 Apr 2016
  • RT @_ARASAcomms: ARASA are proud founding partners of HIV Justice Worldwide. HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE meeting in Brighton, March 24 2016 https… 05 Apr 2016
  • #HIVisnotacrime! Together we can make #hivjusticeworldwide a reality! @IAPAC @iasociety @fhi360 @HealthPolicyPrj https://t.co/XqBOmP2mAn 05 Apr 2016
  • #HIVisnotacrime! Together we can make #hivjusticeworldwide a reality! @HIVLawCom @UNAIDS @theaidsalliance @amnesty https://t.co/XqBOmP2mAn 05 Apr 2016
  • RT @edwinjbernard: #HIVisnotacrime. Together we can make #hivjusticeworldwide a reality! https://t.co/yTTRe14cOE 05 Apr 2016
  • Let's end HIV criminalisation. Together we can make #hivjusticeworldwide a reality! https://t.co/BNh1hMrp7c 05 Apr 2016
  • France: Patrick Yeni, National AIDS Council President, on why HIV criminalisation is major concern https://t.co/DgdNRyIyTu #HIVjustice 04 Apr 2016
  • RT @trevorhoppe: Urgent: MI county seized HIV+ man's phone, revealing status to contacts @CassSheriff @michigannews @TheSeroProject https:… 03 Apr 2016
  • The Michigan County Where HIV is a Crime by @trevorhoppe https://t.co/8fC02sfPn1 #HIVisnotacrime #FreeCorey @CassSheriff @MLive @LeaderPub 03 Apr 2016
  • Zimbabwe: Woman, 34, accused of transmitting HIV to husband, testifies he was already HIV-positive when they married https://t.co/Ku5vUIILxr 29 Mar 2016
  • US: Indiana Law Review critically examines how the state’s HIV non-disclosure law is overly broad and problematic https://t.co/6FUagw0Ob3 17 Mar 2016
  • US: American Psychological Association adopts resolution opposing HIV criminalisation https://t.co/pQCrVwmfwp #HIVisnotacrime #HIVjustice 16 Mar 2016
  • US: Missouri Supreme Court upholds overly broad HIV non-disclosure law following second constitutional challenge https://t.co/xW7Mt3KNhF 16 Mar 2016
  • US: Bernie Sanders “absolutely opposed” to HIV criminalization says spokesperson https://t.co/PEhPDi8q2r #HIVisnotacrime #HIVjustice 15 Mar 2016

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.