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 wheremalicious intent to pass on the virus is established, existing laws, such asthose against battery, are sufficient enough to allow for proper prosecutionunder criminal law. Furthermore, people with HIV who do not deserve punishmentmay as a result of prosecution have to deal with human rights violations. 

According to the article, criminalization of HIVtransmission has found support in Africa from women’s groups who argue the lawsprotect women and girls from unfaithful sex partners, sex partners who do notreveal their HIV status and sexual violence. 

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