HIV & the criminal law

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  • Preface

    By The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG and Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa...

  • Introduction

    How this resource addresses the criminalisation of HIV exposure and transmission. ...

  • Fundamentals

    An overview of the global HIV pandemic, and the role of human rights and the law in the international response to HIV. ...

  • Laws

    A  history of the criminalisation of HIV exposure and transmission, and a brief explanation of the kinds of laws used to do this....

  • Harm

    Considers the actual and perceived impact of HIV on wellbeing, how these inform legislation and the legal construction of HIV-related harm. ...

  • Responsibility

    Looks at two areas of responsiblity for HIV prevention: responsibility for HIV-related sexual risk-taking and responsibility to disclose a known HIV-positive status to a sexual partner. ...

  • Risk

    An examination of prosecuted behaviours, using scientific evidence to determine actual risk, and how this evidence has been applied in jurisdictions worldwide....

  • Proof

    Foreseeability, intent, causality and consent are key elements in establishing criminal culpability. The challenges and practice in proving these in HIV exposure and transmission cases....

  • Impact

    An assessment of the impact of criminalisation and HIV – on individuals, communities, countries and the course of the global HIV epidemic....

  • Details

    A summary of laws, prosecutions and responses to criminalisation of HIV exposure or transmission internationally, and key sources of more information....

  • Blog

    Recent posts from writer and advocate Edwin J Bernard's blog are reproduced here, with Edwin's permission. ...

HIV & the criminal law

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A writer and advocate on a range of HIV-related issues, Edwin has a particular specialism in HIV and the criminal law. He works with national and international HIV organisations, including the International AIDS Society, GNP+ and UNAIDS, as well having as a long association with NAM as a writer on this topic and as the former editor of HIV Treatment Update. To visit Edwin's blog and respond to posts click here.

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.