Advocates fighting outdated HIV crime laws have a powerful new resource at their fingertips: The HIV Justice Toolkit launched online this month with almost 300 documents and videos geared toward ending HIV criminalization at all levels.
A product of HIV Justice Worldwide, which is a global network to abolish unjust HIV laws, the Toolkit organizes its information into 12 categories:
- How HIV criminalization undermines the HIV response
- What the experts say
- Organizing advocacy
- Understanding the law
- Initiating policy and law reform
- Supporting fair and robust trials
- Using science to prove your argument
- Working with police
- Educating prosecutors
- Educating judges
- Getting the message right
- Other tool kits
One of the videos, The Colorado Story, shows how advocates successfully modernized laws in that state. It includes Barb Cardell, Kari Hartel, Edwin J. Bernard, Mark S. King and other names familiar to POZ readers and HIV activists. (The video is embedded at the top of this post.)
HIV Justice Worldwide is now working on a French version of the Toolkit, with other languages planned for the future.
“This easy-to-read summary of critical resources is a tremendous contribution to the fight to end HIV criminalization,” said Sean Strub, executive director of Sero Project (and founder of POZ) in a press release. “We will reference and utilize this important new addition to the HIV Justice Worldwide site frequently.”
“We are delighted at the launch of this timely HIV Justice Toolkit,” added Lynette Mabotte, of AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa. “Advocates will find that the use of this Toolkit will increase collaborative and targeted responses for the most vulnerable—in our case women living with HIV, who often suffer the most because of HIV criminalization. The Toolkit is timely in galvanizing action and encouraging activists and communities to proactively mount evidence-based advocacy campaigns to end HIV criminalization.”
You can check out the Toolkit and its resources here.