10 Reasons Why Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission Harms Women


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HIV-positive women increasingly face legal sanctions as a growing number of countries introduce legislation that would criminalize HIV transmission and exposure. This report outlines the ways in which these laws — rather than providing justice — harm and oppress women. The Center for Reproductive Rights assisted in drafting the report as part of the ATHENA Network's working group on HIV/AIDS.

From the report:

Recently, laws that specifically criminalize HIV transmission and exposure have been enacted, or are pending, in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. At the same time, particularly in Europe and North America, existing criminal laws are increasingly being used to prosecute people for transmitting HIV or exposing others to HIV. In addition to criminalizing the transmission of HIV, these laws sometimes call for mandatory HIV testing of pregnant women, as well as for non-consensual partner disclosure by healthcare providers, further exacerbating the impact of such legislation on women.

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