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December 4, 2009

Report: HIV Criminalization Laws Unnecessary

Laws criminalizing HIV transmission are not necessary, according to a report published in the November 2009 issue of Reproductive Health Matters and reported by Medical News Today.  

The report argues that even in the rare cases where malicious intent to pass on the virus is established, existing laws, such as those against battery, are sufficient enough to allow for proper prosecution under criminal law. Furthermore, people with HIV who do not deserve punishment may as a result of prosecution have to deal with human rights violations.  

According to the article, criminalization of HIV transmission has found support in Africa from women’s groups who argue the laws protect women and girls from unfaithful sex partners, sex partners who do not reveal their HIV status and sexual violence.  

However, the laws may put women more at risk for prosecution because more women in Africa are tested for HIV than men.

Search: criminalization, Africa


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