HIV is Not a Crime

Criminal law has been unjustly used in the United States to target people with HIV. These laws, originally written to protect the public from a perceived threat that a person infected with HIV could use their disease as a weapon against others, are based on long-outdated beliefs about the roots and risks of HIV transmission. They were drafted at a time when HIV was understood to be a “death sentence,” when it is in fact a chronic, manageable disease. 

HIV Criminalization laws by StateAs a result of this widespread ignorance about HIV, the blood, semen, and saliva of people living with HIV have been referred to as “deadly weapons,” and HIV positive individuals have been charged with crimes ranging from aggravated assault to attempted murder, and even bioterrorism.

Call on Congress to pass the REPEAL Act!

The Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act (H.R. 1843/ S.1790) addresses the serious problem of discrimination in the use of criminal and civil commitment laws against those who test positive for HIV. This bill also creates incentives and support for states to reform existing policies that use the criminal law to target people living with HIV for felony charges and severe punishments for behavior that is otherwise legal or that poses no measurable risk of HIV transmission. 

Public health leaders and global policy makers agree that HIV criminalization is unjust, bad public health policy and is fueling the epidemic rather than reducing it. Following the release of a new and long-awaited Department of Justice and CDC article on HIV criminalization, people of faith and health advocates in speaking out in support of the REPEAL!

Learn more:

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