Provides an overview of the use of the criminal law to regulate sexual behaviour in three areas, including HIV exposure during consensual sex. The paper highlights negative effects of HIV criminalisation and argues that strong institutional leadership from UN agencies is required.
Mexico International AIDS Conference 2008 – Closing Plenary Speech by Justice Edwin Cameron. Outlines cases and details many of the problems with criminalisation.
Proposes principles to guide thinking about law and policy on criminal law and HIV, considers alternative to criminalization, and makes recommendations about appropriate use of criminal sanctions and coercive public health measures.
Analyses the surge in criminal prosecutions, discusses the role that stigma plays and makes the case against criminalisation.
Argues that although criminal law has been invoked throughout the HIV epidemic, the public health community has neither favoured its use nor taken a vigorous stand against it. States criminal law cannot draw reasonable lines between criminal and noncriminal behaviour, or prevent HIV transmission. For women, it is a poor substitute for policies that go to the roots of subordination and gender-based violence.
Provides case studies and opinions from around the world, as well as resources and information to support legal advocacy and social mobilisation.
Argues that applying criminal law to HIV exposure or transmission does nothing to address the epidemic of gender-based violence or the deep economic, social, and political inequalities that are at the root of women’s and girls’ disproportionate vulnerability to HIV.
Provides ten reasons why criminalizing HIV exposure or transmission is unjust and ineffective public policy. Argues criminalization is unlikely to prevent new infections or reduce women’s vulnerability to HIV. Instead, criminalisation may harm women and has a negative impact on public health and human rights.