Getting the Message Right

Framing Arguments

These resources provide guidance on effective ways to communicate anti-criminalisation messages to stakeholders, the general public and others.

How to Talk About HIV Criminalization with Elected Officials, Media and Others; Talking Points & References; Frequently Asked Questions

Lists talking points, each including a list of supporting resources and links. Covers many of the legal, public health, human rights, and social justice issues that HIV criminalization raises (pages 12-17 in Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: A manual for advocates. Vol 3: This is how we win. A Toolkit for community Advocates).

HIV Criminalization: Attitudes and Opinions of the American Public

Assessed current attitudes about HIV-related issues and tested messages that might be used to educate the general public and gain support for advocacy to modernise or repeal HIV criminalisation statutes. Suggests great opportunity to change public opinion but messaging must be simple, easy to understand and to the point. Information that current laws are inconsistent with scientific knowledge had considerable resonance, as does messaging that HIV laws unintentionally discourage testing, obtaining treatment and voluntary disclosure. Messages about civil liberties were least effective.

Motivations for Punishing Someone Who Violates HIV Nondisclosure Laws: Basic Research and Policy Implications

Suggests the general public is likely to endorse HIV criminalisation as fair and credible if used to punish actions that cause considerable harm. While it may not be possible to gain public support for a sweeping elimination of HIV criminalisation laws, a realistic advocacy agenda may involve arguments for limiting statutes and prosecutions to egregious cases where considerable harm is caused.

Criminal HIV exposure laws: Moving forward

Asks whether “after more than 25 years one has to wonder if researchers and advocates might be simply ‘preaching to the choir’”. Argues that advocacy will benefit from applying more time to understanding the systems and beliefs that allow HIV criminalisation to endure.

Change the world: A toolkit for citizen journalists

This training manual helps lay the foundation for civil society advocates to become citizen journalists. It brings together journalism skills and advocacy goals to help Key Correspondents share their perspectives and experience with decision makers and wider audiences to influence the discourse around HIV and related issues. The manual introduces the basic components of journalism; so correspondents can write their stories with accuracy and using a journalistic approach to improve the potential of being published in mainstream media. It is a ‘how to’ guide for individual study.