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June 16, 2009

In 3 Countries, United Voices Decry HIV Criminalization

Meetings and rallies took place in Australia, Canada and Sweden last week to unite judges, lawyers, politicians, civil society organizations and people living with HIV in the global movement against unjust criminalization of positive people, reports.

“We’re here today to take a very strong position that a criminalized approach to HIV/AIDS is not going to deal with the public health issues that we need to deal with,” said Vancouver lawmaker Libby Davies at a rally in Canada. “[A criminalized approach] is not going to deal with the issues of complex human behavior that we need to deal with. It’s not going to deal with issues of sexuality and how we approach our individual and collective and societal responsibilities.”

That rally protested Canada’s criminalization of people living with HIV—including the recent murder conviction of Johnson Aziga.

Meanwhile, a conference in Sweden addressed HIV-related laws in countries such as South Africa, Sweden and Australia. The Stockholm County Council revealed data that 10 out of 16 HIV-positive African migrants received longer prison sentences than their Swedish counterparts.

Edwin Cameron, an HIV-positive justice in South Africa, addressed the conference, saying: “We want [HIV to be treated] neither better nor worse than any other disease.”

Search: Edwin Cameron, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Johnson Aziga, Libby Davies, Africa, Stockholm

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