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 challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender and economic justice.