The Fine Print Blog

By: Beirne Roose-Snyder, CHLP Staff Attorney

In October 2010, a porn actor, now identified as Derrick Burts, tested positive for HIV. The news cycle responded as it often does- with alarm and hand-wringing, and with some discussion of "AIDS activists" who are lobbying California to make condoms mandatory in porn. But the reaction to a porn actor testing positive for HIV raises bigger questions about HIV prevention, testing, sexual health and about the porn industry itself. What is the relationship between HIV and the adult film industry? Who regulates the industry and how? And should this singular HIV positive test result be the catalyst for major change?

By Beirne Roose-Snyder, Staff Attorney; Peggy Lee, Program Associate; and Catherine Hanssens, Executive Director 

Last week, CHLP launched the Positive Justice Project (PJP) to combat HIV-related stigma and discrimination against people with HIV by the criminal justice system. More than 40 individuals from legal, government, grant-making and community service and media organizations enlisted in this first coordinated national campaign to end a particularly vicious form of government-sponsored discrimination against people with HIV.

By Peggy Lee, CHLP Program Associate

In this cycling media attention on school administrators that do nothing about threats to LGBTQ youth, and queer teens killing themselves or being killed, what is the status of young LGBTQ teens who are in alternative settings, specifically the spaces often invisibilized to us and the media?

By Megan McLemore, J.D.,L.L.M.
Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch
(originally posted at

With headlines like "Obama Administration Promoting the Transmission of AIDS" and "The Justice Department Wants You to Get AIDS and Die," there has been more heat than light in some of the responses to the news that the U.S. Department of Justice may sue the South Carolina Department of Corrections over its segregation of HIV-positive prisoners.  Why is the notion that HIV-positive prisoners should have the same housing and work release options as convicted murderers so controversial?  And why is the notion that HIV is a mark of extreme dangerousness and death still so widely accepted?

By Joanna Cuevas Ingram, CHLP Summer 2010 Legal Intern, U.C.- Davis School of Law, Class of 2012

CHLP hosted the very first U.S.-based electronic forum for HIV-positive women and their advocates last month, and learned a lot in the process.One thing we learned: the E-forum is a promising tool for getting more voices of people living with HIV into the mix that influences what advocates and government officials prioritize on their behalf.


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