The Intersection of Syringe Use and HIV Criminalization: An Advocate’s Toolkit

This 2017 toolkit from The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) and the National LGBTQ Task Force highlights intersections between the criminalisation of injecting drug use and HIV, noting people living with HIV who inject are criminalised in multiple ways including by laws targeting sharing equipment; purchasing, possessing or distributing equipment; drug possession and use; and HIV exposure, non-disclosure and transmission. Notes repeated calls to address substance use as a public health issue, and provides tips to make advocacy more intentional, intersectional, inclusive, and effective.

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.

HIV Criminalization and Sex Work in California

This study analyses the California Department of Justice criminal history data on arrests of people who had felony solicitation while HIV-positive from 2005 to 2013 and compared the demographics and frequencies with arrest data on sex work over the same time period. Findings indicate a clear disproportionate representation of Black women among those arrested for sex work, in the context of HIV and in general.

HIV Criminalization in Florida – Penal Implications for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Provides an overall understanding of the enforcement of HIV criminalization laws in Florida and assesses any preliminary findings indicating disparities between subpopulations. Preliminary analyses found that there is evidence of disparities in enforcement of HIV criminalization laws related to geography, race/ethnicity, sex at birth, or sex worker (or suspected sex worker) status and underlying related offenses.

Women and HIV criminalization

This policy brief represents the view, as women living with HIV, of the current state of criminalization of HIV among women in Canada and the United States after reviewing academic and grey literature, statutes and policies and an unpublished survey of membership. ICW-NA members highlighted their concern about stigma and discrimination in the justice system related to HIV non-disclosure.

Rethinking Criminalization of HIV Exposure — Lessons from California’s New Legislation

Argues that laws criminalising HIV exposure fail to satisfy criminal law functions of retribution and deterrence. Retribution is problematic as laws are applied when no intention to transmit HIV, little to no likelihood of transmission and multiple factors may make disclosure difficult. Laws fail to deter unprotected sex and are a poor fit for acts that include no risk of transmission, including sex and blood donation. Instead, laws cause harm, with discriminatory enforcement compounding injustice and stigma. California’s law reform is commendable, while other problematic U.S. HIV-criminalisation statutes should be restructured, amended, or repealed.

The Intersection of Sex Work and HIV Criminalization: An Advocate’s Toolkit

This 2017 toolkit from The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) and the National LGBTQ Task Force highlights intersections between the criminalisation of sex work and HIV, noting both disproportionately affect people from marginalised communities. Urges the building of stronger linkages across HIV criminalisation and sex work movements, and provides tips to make advocacy more inclusive, effective, collaborative and transformative.