Criminalising HIV transmission: punishment without protection


Brown, W; Hanefeld, J; Welsh, J; (2009) Criminalising HIV transmission: punishment without protection. Reproductive health matters, 17 (34). pp. 119-126. ISSN 0968-8080 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0968-8080(09)34477-8

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Abstract

Allegations of the reckless or intentional transmission of HIV raise challenging questions about how states con best address a disease which is transmitted primarily through behaviours that both states and community "police" in different ways. This paper argues that in the rare cases in which someone engages in specific behaviour with the intent to infect another person with HIV, existing lows such as lows against battery ore sufficient to allow for the application of the criminal low. It discusses three key points: the potential consequences of new lows criminalising the transmission of HIV, why vague laws criminalising the knowing transmission of HIV foil to meet key requirements of criminal law and are an abuse of the state's policing power, and thirdly the growing inclusion of such lows within sexual offences legislation. Lows criminalising the transmission of HIV risk bringing within the scope of legal sanction people living with HIV who Ore acting in ways that do not merit punishment and may as a result of prosecution face adverse human rights consequences. (C) 2009 Reproductive Health Matters. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, human rights, criminalisation, criminal law, rape
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 19962645
Web of Science ID: 273123300014
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4246

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