On February 16, 2011, René Bennett-Carlson and Catherine Hanssens were honored with the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) AIDSWatch Positive Leadership Awards for outstanding leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Robert Greenwald, Director of the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP) and NAPWA's partner in organizing AIDSWatch, presented the awards to Catherine Hanssens, who attended on behalf of CHLP.
On February 23, President Obama announced that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 legislation that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional and directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in court. In response to this announcement, Social Security Admistration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue says that this move will have no immediate affect on payment of benefits to same-sex spouses.
Leading public health officials and advocates for people with HIV responded swiftly to news that a Montana state legislator, while testifying in favor of retaining the state's death penalty statute, suggested that prisoners with HIV make paper "blow darts", put their blood or saliva on them and throw them at prison guards in an attempt to kill them.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy today released a new briefing paper, What HIV Criminalization Means to Women in the U.S. The paper looks at practical and legal questions often raised about using criminal law as a response to women's risk of HIV infection or transmission. It is intended for use by women affected by HIV and their advocates.