This slide presentation, presented on January 17, 2012 during the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Director's (NASTAD'S) Decriminalization Technical Assistance Webinar, summarizes the current use of criminal and civil commitment laws against people living with HIV in the Unites States. The presentation provides an overview of the elements of HIV-specific criminal statutes and offers examples of recent criminal prosecutions of HIV-positive people. It demonstrates the severity of these laws by comparing the significantly longer sentences people with HIV may receive for engaging in consensual sex and conduct that poses no risk of transmission with those that individuals receive if they commit vehicular manslaughter. The presentation reinforces the need to modernize existing HIV-specific statutes to reflect current knowledge about the actual routes and risks of HIV transmission and the discriminatory nature of laws that target people with HIV for criminal prosecution for conduct that is legal for those without HIV.
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.