UNAIDS Releases Guidance on HIV Criminalization

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released guidance on HIV criminalization, titled "Ending Overly Broad Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission: Critical Scientific, Medical and Legal Considerations" in May 2013.  

This guidance is the product of extensive consultations with medical, scientific, and legal experts; government policy makers; and civil society representatives. The Center for HIV Law and Policy, a legal consultant on the project, notes that the guidance provides important rationales for rejecting lower standards of proof of intent and harm, and higher levels of felony punishment for HIV-related exposure, nondisclosure, and transmission charges.  The criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure, and transmission reflects a fundamental lack of understanding of HIV, and constitutes discrimination against people living with HIV.  HIV criminalization laws lead to miscarriages of justice, and threaten efforts to address HIV in an effective and rights-based manner.