Understanding the Law

The criminalisation of HIV exposure and transmission looks very different in different jurisdictions. It may result from the use of HIV-specific laws or the application of broader laws originally designed to address assaults or public nuisance. Until recently, most countries kept no record of HIV-related prosecutions making it difficult to know what has occurred. Most people working to address HIV criminalisation are not lawyers, so deciphering the law, its historical use and legal processes can be difficult. The following resources include the result of advocates’ work to identify laws in their jurisdictions, gain a greater understanding of their use to date, learn about the experiences of people who have been prosecuted, and provide advice to community about the law.

Bad Blood: Criminalisation of Blood Donations by People Living with HIV

Following recent reports of blood donation-related prosecutions in Russia, Singapore, and the United States, the HIV Justice Network undertook desk-based research, collating and categorising all known country and jurisdictional laws that specifically criminalise blood donations by people living with HIV, and known prosecutions under these laws. We analysed these laws and cases using a global policy guidance and human rights law framework, informed by international and state-level scientific data assessing risks of transmission via blood transfusion.