Lambda Legal submitted this amicus brief on behalf of an HIV-positive defendant in an appeal of a criminal conviction for assault with a deadly weapon for spitting in a police officer's face. The brief argues that the defendant should not have been convicted of assault because there is no scientific basis for treating saliva as a source of HIV transmission. The brief further asserts that singling out people with HIV for enhanced punishment for behavior that bears no risk of HIV transmission frustrates important public policy goals.
CHLP fights stigma and discrimination at the intersection of HIV, race, health status, disability, class, sexuality and gender identity and expression, with a focus on criminal and public health systems. As part of this work, we support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change rooted in racial, gender and economic justice. We do this through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources.