HIV Criminalization Reform and Advocacy
HIVMA and IDSA strongly oppose laws that criminalize transmission or non-disclosure of HIV status and other infectious diseases because of the harmful affect these laws have on individual and public health. Twenty-nine states have laws that penalize people living with HIV for not disclosing their infection, and for exposing others to bodily fluid, and 15 states have HIV-specific penalties for behaviors that include spitting and biting. Criminal laws at the state level are not based in the current science and evidence paradigm of HIV treatment and prevention, and they stigmatize and discriminate people living with HIV and in some states others with communicable diseases, including hepatitis C.
Health care providers can play a crucial role in helping to reform these laws and in assisting in HIV-related criminalization cases. HIVMA partners with organizations like Lambda Legal and the Center for HIV Law and Policy. We are creating a network of ID/HIV providers who are interested in joining these efforts. To let us know that you’re interested, please complete this survey.
“Getting Involved in Criminalization Reform & Advocacy for Providers"
On December 4, 2018, HIVMA and Lambda Legal hosted a webinar for IDSA and HIVMA members to learn about HIV criminal law and reform efforts at the state levels and opportunities for providers to get involved from Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal’s HIV Project Director. HIVMA members Dr. David Hardy, Dr. Barb Gripshover and Dr. Edwin DeJesus also shared their experiences serving as experts in criminal and civil cases and advocating for reform. You can watch the hour-long webinar below and view the slide deck here.
- Joint IDSA and HIVMA Policy Position on Criminalization of HIV, STIs and Other Communicable Diseases (2015)
- Joint CDC and U.S. Department of Justice review of state HIV criminal laws (2014)
- The Center for HIV Law and Policy: Overview Map of States with HIV-specific Criminal Laws (2018)
- The Center for HIV Law and Policy: Repository of HIV-specific Laws by State
- The Center for HIV Law and Policy: Sourcebook on State and Federal HIV Law and Practice webinar (2017)
- Lambda Legal: Know Your Rights – HIV Criminalization FAQ
- Barre-Sinoussi, F., Bekker, L., Beyrer, C., et al. 2018. Expert consensus statement on the science of HIV in the context of criminal law. Journal of the International AIDS Society.