Initiating Policy & Law Reform

Many countries have laws that specifically criminalise HIV non-disclosure before sex, ‘exposure’ to HIV without transmission, and HIV transmission. Often these laws ignore HIV transmission science. Other laws single out HIV as an exceptional threat despite the fact that HIV is more difficult to transmit and causes less physical harms than many other diseases. This section includes resources that explain how policy and law reform happen or argue for policy or law reform.

Expert consensus statement on the science of HIV in the context of criminal law

Twenty scientists from regions across the world developed this Expert Consensus Statement to address the use of HIV science by the criminal justice system. Description of the possibility of HIV transmission was limited to acts most often at issue in criminal cases. The authors recommend that caution be exercised when considering prosecution, and encourage governments and those working in legal and judicial systems to pay close attention to the significant advances in HIV science that have occurred over the last three decades to ensure current scientific knowledge informs application of the law in cases related to HIV.