Law, Criminalisation and HIV in the World: Have countries that criminalise achieved more or less successful AIDS pandemic response?

At the end of the 5-year strategy in which countries around the world focused their AIDS response on reaching people living with HIV with testing and treatment services, this article provides an ecological analysis of whether those countries with criminalising legal environments achieved more or less success. It found that countries that have adopted a criminalising approach to key populations saw less success than those that chose not to criminalise. This analysis suggests a new global AIDS strategy that includes a focus on law reform may hold promise in achieving goals that were missed in 2020.

Anxiety about HIV criminalisation among people living with HIV in Australia

Drawing on cross-sectional data from 895 people living with HIV in Australia, this paper describes associations between standard measures of mental health and resilience with a newly devised scale measuring anxiety about HIV criminalisation. Findings suggest that laws criminalising HIV transmission have a broadly negative impact on wellbeing of people living with HIV, a situation that is exacerbated for gay and bisexual men, and other people living with HIV who may face intersecting forms of marginalisation based on race, gender or class.

Disability Law and HIV Criminalization

Over thirty states maintain criminal laws that expressly target people living with HIV. Thousands of people are prosecuted under these statutes, exposing them to decades of incarceration, thousands of dollars in fines, and state-sanctioned stigma. This broad pattern of discrimination based solely on HIV status is not supported by scientific evidence nor public-health rationales. This Note argues that many states’ HIV-specific criminal laws violate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s ban on discrimination by public entities.

When Saliva Is a Crime: Reforming Mississippi’s HIV Criminalization Law Utilizing the Center for Disease Control and Criminalization Law Utilizing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Policy Analytical Framework

In this study, Mississippi’s existing policy was identified using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Policy Analytical Framework, and three possible policy options were analyzed and scored based on public health impact, feasibility, and economic and budgetary impact. Results of this analysis strongly indicate that Mississippi Code ANN. § 97-27-14 should be amended to be scientifically accurate and include a criminalization clause based on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States goals and the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division best practices.

Bareback Sex in the Age of Preventative Medication: Rethinking the ‘Harms’ of HIV Transmission

This article provides a re-examination of the criminal issues relating to HIV transmission within the new landscape of advances in medical science and availability of PrEP and PEP, arguing that it necessitates a shift in attitude, policy and doctrine. It specifically argue that HIV transmission does not meet the appropriate harm threshold to constitute GBH and that if criminal law is ultimately about preventing or regulating harm, the ongoing criminalisation of HIV transmission is counter to that aim.

Limit Cases: How and why we can and should decriminalise HIV Transmission, exposure and non-disclosure

ABSTRACT: Across the world, people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHA) face investigation, prosecution, conviction, and punishment if they transmit HIV to another person, expose others to the risk of HIV acquisition, or fail to disclose in advance their HIV positive status. This article seeks to explain why limiting the criminalisation of HIV is important and necessary; identifies some of the ways in which it has been, and might be, limited; and, finally, offers some reflections on whether there exists a principled limit to decriminalisation arguments (ie whether there are cases which, even if the general principles underpinning decriminalisation is accepted, justify state punishment). Drawing on recent international policy guidance, current scientific knowledge about HIV prevention and treatment, and research on the impact of criminalisation of PLHA, the article argues that decriminalisation is critical to eradicating HIV and should be a public health priority, that biomedical advances in prevention and treatment will assist the decriminalisation project but are insufficient in the absence of legal and criminal justice practice reform.

Risk of HIV transmission through condomless sex in serodifferent gay couples with the HIV-positive partner taking suppressive antiretroviral therapy (PARTNER): final results of a multicentre, prospective, observational study

Study findings provide conclusive evidence that the risk of HIV transmission through anal sex when HIV viral load is suppressed is effectively zero.Among the 782 serodifferent gay couples followed for almost 1600 eligible couple-years of follow-up, which included more than 76 000 reports of condomless sex, zero cases of within-couple HIV transmission were found. In the absence of ART, on the basis of the frequency and type of sex, for receptive condomless anal sex acts alone approximately 472 transmissions would have been expected. The results give equivalence of evidence for gay men as for heterosexual couples and indicate that the risk of HIV transmission when HIV viral load is suppressed is effectively zero for both anal and vaginal sex.

HIV criminalization exacerbates subpar diagnosis and treatment across the US

Revisits the analysis described in Sweeney et al. (Association of HIV diagnosis rates and laws criminalizing HIV exposure in the United States), but stratifies the diagnosis rate into two response variables: i) the proportion of PLHIV diagnosed, and ii) annual percentage change in HIV prevalence. Counter to the conclusions of Sweeney et al., the researchers’ analyses indicate that laws criminalizing HIV exposure are associated with a lower proportion of HIV diagnosis and increased HIV prevalence.

Positive sexuality: HIV disclosure, gender, violence and the law—A qualitative study

Drawing on a feminist analytical framework and concepts of structural violence, this analysis sought to characterize the negotiation of sexual relationships and HIV disclosure among Women Living with HIV (WLWH) in a criminalized setting. Researchers conducted 64 qualitative interviews with cis and trans WLWH in Vancouver, Canada between 2015 and 2017. Despite frequently being represented as a law that ‘protects’ women, the study findings indicate that the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure constitutes a form of gendered structural violence that exacerbates risk for interpersonal violence among WLWH. In line with recommendations by, the WHO and UNAIDS these findings demonstrate the negative impacts of regulating HIV prevention through the use of criminal law for WLWH.