Organising Advocacy

Increasing awareness and strategizing for future advocacy

Agencies around the world are using different techniques to undertake advocacy to reduce HIV criminalisation. These resources include manuals on how anti-criminalisation can be undertaken, tools to use when developing advocacy plans, and records of advocacy events – showing advocacy development in action.

Using Research In The Fight Against HIV Criminalisation – A Guide for Activists

The purpose of this guide is to help advocates who want to use research in their activism. It is not a guide about how to conduct original research. Instead, it focuses on how to find, read and interpret research on HIV criminalisation, giving examples of how advocates have successfully used research to challenge HIV criminalisation.


How to change the law

Ground-breaking research from the Human Dignity Trust offering a step-by-step analysis of how the reform of discriminatory sexual offence laws has been achieved and identifying how it can be replicated. Countains a series of reports investigating in detail how countries in four regions of the world have recently reformed outdated and discriminatory sexual offences laws.

HPV Talking Points – Keep out of the criminal law

HPV Talking points published by the HIV Modernization Movement-Indiana to support advocacy against bill attempting to add HPV to outdated HIV or STD criminal laws (other than the specific epi/medical/testing facts unique to HPV, many of these talking points would apply to attempts to add any additional communicable diseases to these criminal laws).

Evaluation of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law

Findings from an external evaluation of the impacts and legacy of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. It explores the fulfilment of the Commission’s objectives, taking into account the perspectives and experiences of representatives from government, including law and policy makers, civil society including those most marginalised and affected by HIV, as well as United Nations agencies and other development partners.

HIV, the Law and Human Rights in the African Human Rights System: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Rights-Based Responses

Report on the Study of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The report presents the current state of the HIV epidemic in Africa through a human rights and gender lens by showing the populations and locations most affected by HIV and those underserved by the response to the epidemic. It also describes the global, regional and national norms and standards relating to HIV and health, as well as their interpretation and application by African regional mechanisms, United Nations (UN) bodies and national courts and institutions. It further provides a detailed analysis of the key human rights challenges affecting the response to HIV on the continent.

International Consultation on the Criminalization of HIV Transmission: Summary of main issues and conclusions

Records discussions of legal experts and other stakeholders at a UNAIDS/UNDP meeting convened in the context of renewed calls for the use of criminal law to HIV sexual transmission. Discussions aimed to inform a UNAIDS/UNDP policy brief.

Technical consultation in collaboration with the European AIDS Treatment Group and AIDS Action Europe on the criminalization of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, Copenhagen, 16 October 2006

Describes the work of the 2006 WHO technical consultation on the criminalization of HIV exposure and transmission, involving participants from all over Europe. Concludes that criminalization of HIV/STI transmission or exposure should be a last resort and only undertaken in a manner consistent with human rights conventions and laws. Argues that criminalization represents a failure of prevention efforts, with greater efforts required to overcome stigma and discrimination that undermine prevention.

Unsafe law: health, rights and the legal response to HIV

Suggests that, while important, rights-based arguments are an insufficient basis for advocacy, with legal scholarship and research having an important role to play. Argues that policy-makers, legislators and those responsible for interpretation and enforcement of law must base their HIV response not on populist morality but on the strong evidence base provided by three decades of clinical, scientific and social research.

Report on the ARASA/OSISA civil society consultative meeting on the criminalization of the wilful transmission of HIV

Outlines discussions at a community consultative meeting on HIV criminalisation attended by members of civil society from a range of countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The meeting considered different perspectives on criminalisation, aiming to reach consensus on what constitutes an appropriate and effective response to harmful HIV-related behaviour.

HIV, Crime and the Law in Australia: Options for Policy Reform – a law reform advocacy kit

Divided into two sections, section two is an advocacy kit (pages 14-19). Includes possible actions to enable the development of better laws and policies, and improved practices on the part of the agencies enforcing existing laws.

Results from the Roundtable on Criminalization of HIV and women in BC Priority Setting Day

Outlines the impact of the criminalization of HIV on women, and sets research and advocacy priorities to inform policy and practice.

The Public Health Implications of Criminalizing HIV Non-Disclosure, Exposure and Transmission: Report of an International Workshop

Explores key themes from the first international meeting focused on strengthening new empirical research on criminalization. Offers suggestions for future research on the public health implications of criminalizing HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.

Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada Video Series

Series of 23 short videos on different aspects of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada. Topics include: What is criminalization of HIV disclosure?, What should I do if I’m charged?, Why don’t people with HIV always disclose?, and How does Canada’s strict legal stance affect those living with HIV?.

Why Are We Putting People In Jail For Having HIV? First: HIV Criminalization A Grassroots Guide To HIV Criminalization: Facts, Foolishness And Solutions

This guide developed by The Center for HIV Law and Policy and National Center for Lesbian Rights in 2015 outlines the basics of HIV criminalization, medical facts, how criminalization exacerbates stigma, issues with HIV laws, and how people can advocate for change. Includes useful links.