CHLP Launches Expanded HIV Policy Resource Bank for People Living with HIV and their Advocates

New York, NY – October 16, 2013.

New York, NY – October 16, 2013. The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), a national leader in HIV law and policy, today re-launched its online HIV Policy Resource Bank with added new tools to guide community and legal policy advocates across the United States. With multiple new features created to make HIV legal and policy research easier for advocates, the free, online resource center now includes searchable state-specific summaries of the law on topics such as HIV, STI, and communicable/infections disease criminal laws; the right of minors to consent to HIV and STI-specific testing and care; and policies restricting the practices of HIV-positive health care workers in all 50 states.

The only free online library of its kind, CHLP’s HIV Policy Resource Bank offers a wide range of documents covering 36 different issues areas affecting the lives of individuals with HIV.  Each posted resource is accompanied by a summary of the document so users quickly can determine whether it is relevant to the issue they need to address. Under-resourced attorneys have access to sample pleadings and briefs as well as court opinions and federal and state agency regulations in areas of practice most relevant to the legal needs of people living with HIV. Policy and community advocates working at the local, state, or federal level can locate white papers, reports, model policies, and other materials to inform and expedite their work. CHLP supplements the wealth of materials collected from quality sources across the country with in-house created toolkits, guides and primers, slide sets, legal and medical summaries, and other materials that meet current needs.

CHLP is a leading source of information on HIV-related legal developments, policy proposals, and the social, scientific, and political factors that spur and shape them, particularly the phenomenon of HIV criminalization, the targeting of people living with HIV for unique, and uniquely severe, criminal prosecution and imprisonment.

CHLP also is the organizational home of the Positive Justice Project (PJP), a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to end HIV criminalization in the United States. PJP is a 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. The PJP coalition includes people living with or at greatest risk of HIV, those who have been arrested or prosecuted, medical and public health professionals, community organizers, advocates, attorneys, law enforcement, sex workers, social scientists, and others. As part of a national blueprint to end HIV criminalization in the US, PJP engages 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. PJP’s Steering Committee is made up of representatives from CHLP, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA), Lambda Legal, AIDS United, as well as individuals unaffiliated with a specific organization. CHLP’s research on HIV/STI criminal laws now is summarized and available on CHLP’s website.

CHLP monitors HIV criminalization across the country, and has produced a chart summarizing many such cases over the last several years: Prosecutions for HIV Exposure in the United States, 2008–2013. Legal advocates representing people living with HIV in a criminal exposure case may find CHLP’s Guidance for a Legal Advocate Representing an HIV Positive Client in a Criminal Exposure Case and Legal Toolkit: Resources for Attorneys Handling HIV-Related Prosecutions helpful. People who believe they are at risk of arrest, or in fact are facing prosecution on the basis of their HIV status, may find CHLP’s HIV Criminalization Palm Card helpful. You may also contact CHLP at info@hivlawandpolicy.org or 212.430.6733 for more information on getting legal assistance.

CHLP’s new website, and its work on HIV criminalization, has been made possible by the indispensable, generous support of The Elton John AIDS Foundation, The MAC AIDS Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the John M. Lloyd Foundation.

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The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national legal and policy resource and strategy center working to reduce the impact of HIV on vulnerable and marginalized communities and to secure the human rights of people affected by HIV. We increase the advocacy power of attorneys, community advocates and service providers, and advance policy initiatives that are grounded in and uphold social justice, science and the public’s health.

Poz Magazine featured CHLP's HIV Policy Resource Bank.