Sexual Behavior, Stigma, Perceived Hostility, Comfort With Disclosure and New Jersey’s HIV Exposure Law

Findings from this study indicate that the law may have minimal impact on the disclosure behavior of people with HIV, and is not an effective structural HIV prevention intervention. The researchers posit that internalized normative values likely guide disclosure, irrespective of the law. As a result, the authors argue that interventions designed “to increase comfort with seropositive status disclosure may be a better way to achieve the desired behaviors.

Evaluating The Impact of Criminal Laws On HIV Risk Behavior

This article reports on the characteristics and prevalence of HIV-specific criminal exposure and transmission laws, and the enforcement of those laws through prosecutions during the period 1986­-2001. It also examines the possible mechanisms through which criminal law influences behavior and considers how these might apply to the specific laws described.

Impact of Canadian human immunodeficiency virus non-disclosure case law on experiences of violence from sexual partners among women living with human immunodeficiency virus in Canada: Implications for sexual rights

Study measured the reported impact of HIV non-disclosure case law on violence from sexual partners among women living with human immunodeficiency virus in Canada. Findings bolster concerns that human immunodeficiency virus criminalisation is a structural driver of intimate partner violence, compromising sexual rights of women living with HIV. HIV non-disclosure case law intersects with other oppressions to regulate women’s sexual lives.

Writing for digital news about HIV criminalization in Canada

This study examines the production of Canadian news media stories about HIV criminalization. Through institutional ethnographic interviews with journalists who produce news stories about HIV criminalization, this study brings into view that conditions of convergence journalism make it exceedingly difficult for reporters to disrupt the genre of crime stories about HIV criminalization in which stigmatizing discourses proliferate.

The Threat Lives On: How to Exclude Expectant Mothers from Prosecution for Mere Exposure of HIV to their Fetuses and Infants (2015)

This article articulates how the threat of prosecution of mothers living with HIV who expose or transfer the virus to their foetuses or newborn will discourage and scare women away from seeking proper medical treatment instead of encouraging HIV treatment and prevention. It also explores how HIV-specific criminal transmission laws in the United States could hamper and stifle the progress in prevention and treatment of vertical transmission. It concludes by proposing a model for change in addressing these HIV-specific criminal transmission statutes.

Vertical HIV transmission should be excluded from criminal prosecution (2009)

Joanne Csete and colleagues argue that criminal laws on HIV transmission and exposure should be reviewed and revised to ensure that vertical transmission is explicitly excluded as an object of criminal prosecution. Scaling up PMTCT services and ensuring that they are affordable, accessible, welcoming and of good quality is the most effective strategy for reducing vertical transmission of HIV and should be the primary strategy in all countries.

“Why Aren’t You Breastfeeding?”: How Mothers Living With HIV Talk About Infant Feeding in a “Breast Is Best” World (2015)

Infant feeding raises unique concerns for mothers living with HIV in Canada, where they are recommended to avoid breastfeeding yet live in a social context of “breast is best.” In narrative interviews with HIV-positive mothers from Ontario, Canada, a range of feelings regarding not breastfeeding was expressed, balancing feelings of loss and self-blame with the view of responsibility and “good mothering” under the current Canadian guidelines. Acknowledging responsibility to put their child’s health first, participants revealed that their choices were influenced by variations in social and cultural norms, messaging, and guidelines regarding breastfeeding across geographical contexts. This qualitative study raises key questions about the impact of breastfeeding messaging and guidelines for HIV-positive women in Canada.

Using Science for Justice: The Implications of the Expert Consensus Statement on Zimbabwe’s HIV Criminalisation Law

The article finds that, if applied by lawyers, prosecutors and courts, the Expert Consensus Statement may alleviate some unjust prosecutions and convictions in guiding courts to assess evidence on HIV transmission, to draw appropriate inferences on mental elements of the offence, to recognise defences on the basis of transmission risk-reducing conduct, and to more appropriately inform the courts’ assessment of the harm of HIV infection in sentencing. The implications of the science reflected in the Expert Consensus Statement may also weigh in favour of a finding by the courts that the offence is unconstitutional if a new constitutional case is made against the offence.

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.