The American Psychological Association (APA), which represents the nation’s largest psychology organization, has adopted a “Resolution Opposing HIV Criminalization,” according to the APA website.
In researching the resolution, the APA received feedback from the HIV Medicine Association, the Sero Project, The Center for HIV Law and Policy, and the APA Committee on Legal Issues.
The resolution itself lists 27 reasons why the APA is calling for reform. For example, it writes that “criminalization laws may result in people living with HIV (PLHIV) being arrested for behaviors that pose a negligible risk of exposure or transmission” and that “criminalization laws may result in PLHIV being arrested for consensual sex.”
The resolution concludes with 10 different courses of recommended action. “APA opposes HIV criminalization,” the statement reads, “and recommends the repeal or reform of these laws to eliminate HIV-specific criminal penalties with the exceptions of 1) a person with known HIV committing a sex crime where there is risk of transmission, and 2) a person with known HIV who has the intent to transmit the virus and is engaged in a behavior with a high risk of transmission.”
The statement also resolves “that laws that target PLHIV and engender harsher sentencing should be repealed” and “that laws that undermine national HIV prevention efforts should be repealed.”