For anyone who cares about human rights from a health and discrimination angle, recent cases criminalizing HIV transmission raise multiple red flags.
We must put an end to policies that undermine basic constitutional principles in order to lock up the pregnant women and mothers who need health care most.
Yes, I mean Rwanda, and yes, indeed yet another country in sub-Saharan Africa–one which has made such vast progress from the genocide of a decade ago–appears ready to vote to criminalize the existence of a whole class of people.
At a "breakthrough meeting," the Holy See condemned “unjust discrimination against homosexual persons,” and advocates detailed the spread throughout Africa of violence and hatred against gay, lesbian and transgender persons.
Stigma, discrimination, poverty, homophobia, racism, sexism, all fuel the spread of HIV and hurt those living with it. These issues are routinely cited as critical to ending the epidemic but rarely addressed in policies and prevention strategies.
The absence of penal laws and widespread violence against homosexuals and transgender persons does not make the Philippines totally “gay friendly” or even “pro-trans.”
The case of an Iowa man sentenced to the maximum allowed by state law for failing to disclose to a one-time intimate partner that he was HIV-positive has been cited as evidence of the need to reevaluate state criminal transmission laws.
Criminalization of HIV transmission and exposure places blame on one sexual partner rather than encouraging equal responsibility in safe sex.