Positive Justice Project

The Positive Justice Project (PJP) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to end HIV criminalization in the United States. PJP is a truly community-driven, multidisciplinary collaboration to end government reliance on an individual's positive HIV test result as proof of intent to harm, and the basis for irrationally severe treatment in the criminal justice system. We engage in federal and state policy advocacy, resource creation, support of local advocates and attorneys working on HIV criminal cases, and educating, organizing and mobilizing communities and policymakers in the United States.

The goal of PJP is to bring an end to laws and policies that subject people with HIV to arrest and increased punishment on the basis of gross ignorance about the nature and transmission of HIV, without consideration of the actual risks of HIV exposure. PJP's work is comprehensive and diverse:

  • Community Outreach: PJP engages members and leaders of diverse communities and populations to combat HIV criminalization, including people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, youth, and others.
  • Federal Advocacy: To improve federal policies, PJP's work targets federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), and the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
  • Legal: PJP researches and reports on legal developments and trends focusing on challenges and alternatives to existing criminalization laws. PJP also provides technical support and assistance to attorneys handling cases on behalf of people living with HIV.
  • Media: PJP develops strategic communication initiatives, media and messaging strategies, and talking points to educate the media and policymakers about the harms of HIV criminalization. 
  • Public Health: PJP engages public health leaders, agencies, and professional organizations to become visibly involved in the movement to end HIV criminalization.
  • State Advocacy: PJP provides resources and infrastructure to local and state-based community advocates working to modernize criminal laws that target people living with HIV.

The Center for HIV Law and Policy, PJP's founding organization, provides ongoing coordination with the active support of PJP's Steering Committee and the many individual and organizational members of PJP. The Steering Committee currently includes:

  • William McColl, AIDS United
  • Carole Treston, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC)
  • Catherine Hanssens, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP)
  • Mayo Schreiber, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP)
  • Lauren Fanning, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP)
  • Kim Miller, HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)
  • Suraj Madoori, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA)
  • Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal
  • Terrance Moore, National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)
  • C. Virginia Fields, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA)

For more information about PJP or the PJP Working Groups, contact us at pjp@hivlawandpolicy.org.