This document summarizes key scientific sources and selected quotations on the nature of HIV in ways that are accessible and useful for legal briefs and other advocacy work. The publication includes sections on HIV as a chronic disease, HIV as an impairment of the immune system and a covered disability under the ADA/ADAAA, the routes and risk of HIV transmission, and the use and limits of phylogenetic analysis in proving the source of an individual's HIV infection. While this resource is intended primarily to support those working against HIV criminalization or representing persons with HIV in criminal proceedings, it should be useful in a variety of civil or legal proceedings in which the nature of HIV or how it is transmitted is at issue.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national resource and advocacy organization working to advance the rights of people affected by HIV. We combine an online HIV Policy Resource Bank, a creative national advocacy agenda, and case assistance focused on systems and institutions with significant impact on marginalized communities.