What the Experts Say

National Policy Organisations

In some jurisdictions, HIV law and policy organisations have joined calls for review of existing laws and their use against people with HIV. Their efforts have included practical steps, for example, development of guiding principles and best practice guidance.

Opinion followed by recommendations on the criminalisation of the sexual transmission of HIV in France

Presents an assessment of the legal, ethical, societal and health issues raised by criminal proceedings brought in France for acts of transmission or exposure to the risk of sexual transmission of HIV.

No Criminalisation of People with HIV!

Argues that criminalisation undermines HIV prevention efforts, calls for a clear distinction between moral and legal issues, and calls on the judiciary to reconsider the application of criminalisation against people with HIV.

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Why NAT opposes prosecutions for reckless HIV transmission

Explains the main reasons the National AIDS Trust opposes criminal prosecutions for reckless HIV transmission, and the limited circumstances where prosecutions may be an appropriate response.

Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Concerning HIV Criminalization

Opposes laws that base criminal liability and/or penalty on HIV status, rather than intent to harm. Argues that focus on knowledge of status as a key element of an HIV-related crime rather than intent and capacity to transmit the virus, is a classic example of an inadequate mens rea (or criminal intent) requirement and overly expansive criminalization.

Guiding Principles for Eliminating Disease-Specific Criminal Laws

Calls for modernization of laws that exclude HIV and other infectious diseases from long-established interpretations of criminal felony laws requiring proof of intent to harm accompanied by conduct likely to cause death or severe injury for a conviction.

Best Practices Guide to Reform HIV-Specific Criminal Laws to Align with Scientifically-Supported Factors

Provides technical assistance to ensure that HIV-related criminal laws and policies reflect contemporary medical and scientific understanding of the routes, risks, and consequences of HIV transmission.

Resolution on Ending Federal and State HIV-Specific Criminal Laws, Prosecutions, and Civil Commitments

Calls for federal action to address criminalisation including review of laws and cases.

Resolution on HIV Discrimination and Criminalization

Calls for the elimination of HIV-specific criminal laws and implementation of approaches to HIV consistent with the treatment of similar health and safety risks. Endorses the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS for ending federal and state HIV-specific criminal laws, prosecutions, and civil commitments.

Consensus Statement on The Criminalization Of HIV in the United States

Endorsed by hundreds of organizations and individuals across the country, the statement indicates growing consensus about the need to end the use of special criminal laws that target persons with HIV for consensual sex or otherwise “exposing” another person to HIV. Demands that laws and practices be modernized to reflect current science and knowledge about HIV.

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