Alexander McClelland, “Lock This Whore Up”: Legal Violence and Flows of Information Precipitating Personal Violence against People Criminalised for HIV-Related Crimes in Canada, 10 Eur. J. of Risk Reg. 132 (2019)

Research and Journal Articles

This article addresses the implications of the multiple forms of personal data collection and sharing that amplify violence against persons targeted under HIV criminal and public health laws based on the perception that people living with HIV are threats to public health and safety. The author posits that criminalization subjects people living with HIV to multiple types of legal violence that exacerbate the exclusion and discrimination arising from social stigma.

HIV non-disclosure criminalization encourages society to view people living with HIV as criminals and provides a false sense of justification to engage in discriminatory practices. Numerous channels of information, like press releases, media articles, and social media, worsen the issue by granting the general public access to information identifying people living with HIV. Since HIV is both a health condition and a crime, HIV-related information is collected for both health service and legal reasons. Even if the original purpose for collection was not punitive, the information can still be misused for harmful legal practices and discrimination.