8 July 2016                                                                                           View this email in your browser 

Attendance is free of charge but requires pre-registration. Register today, spaces are very limited.

Beyond Blame @AIDS2016: Challenging HIV Criminalisation is a one day pre-conference for activists, advocates, healthcare professionals, lawyers, policymakers, and anyone else interested in working to end HIV criminalisation.

The meeting, which takes place on Sunday July 17th 2016 at the Blue Waters Hotel in Durban, South Africa, is being convened by HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE with local partner AIDS Legal Network, and in collaboration with UNAIDS.

Opening Speaker: Hon. Dr Patrick Herminie Speaker of Parliament of Seychelles
Keynote Speaker: Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court.

Beyond Blame @AIDS2106 is supported by a grant from the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund

To get a taste of things to come, watch the Beyond Blame video below and download the draft programme.

Draft programme
BEYOND BLAME: Challenging HIV Criminalisation

@ Blue Waters Hotel, 175 Snell Parade, Marine Parade, Durban


Welcome Laurel Sprague!
The HIV Justice Network is delighted to welcome Laurel Sprague to the team!

Hello! I have just joined the HIV Justice Network as a Global Research Fellow in HIV, Gender, and Justice and wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. For those who don’t know me (yet), HIV criminalisation grabbed my attention as an area of severe injustice around 2008. Although I have been living with HIV since 1991, and have worried myself about how the laws could be used against me, it wasn’t until I got involved with folks at GNP+ in 2008 that I began to think about criminalisation as a community injustice, rather than as an individual problem. Since that time, I have worked as the Research Director at the Sero Project, leading research into attitudes about HIV criminalisation held by people living with HIV; as the Regional Coordinator at GNP+North America, implementing the PLHIV Stigma Index within North America; and, most recently, as a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, while teaching side courses in Women and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University. At HJN, I will be working to communicate research findings out to activists; to organize our data on criminalisation cases reported in the media; to identify research gaps; and to support the work to bring women more clearly into our work to end HIV criminalisation. My geeky loves are feminist, queer, and political theory. My hobbies are hiking with my dogs, camping, and kayaking. I am delighted to be on the HJN team. Laurel
Working with the 2016 Political Declaration on Ending AIDS: Increased Commitments towards enabling legal environments, by Laurel Sprague

Laurel Sprague Ph.D. Global Research Fellow on HIV, Gender, and Justice, HIV Justice Network

As the dust settles from the 2016 High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, our communities need to take stock of where we are now and what we have to work with in the 2016 Political Declaration.

This blog post, focused primarily on the paragraphs dealing with legal environments, is one contribution to that effort. More →

New publications and forthcoming events

Last week, ARASA launched Identifying Injustice: Laws and Policy on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and HIV in Southern Africa which outlines how laws and policies in ten countries in Southern Africa impact the lives, heath and rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
Human Rights Networking Zone at AIDS 2016

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), with the generous support of the Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations, are looking forward to welcoming you to the Human Rights Networking Zone at the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa.

The Human Rights Networking Zone is located in the Global Village (location to be confirmed shortly), and it is a public space in which individuals and organizations can participate in activities that underscore the importance of human rights in addressing HIV/AIDS — exciting events that will bring home the theme of AIDS 2016, “Access Equity Rights Now.”


AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

Why HIV criminalisation is poor public health: Southern African parliamentarians debate and learn

"Despite the remarkable progress that the various Southern African states have registered in public health, in some countries criminal laws continue to limit the exercise of people’s rights, including sexual and reproductive rights and having a negative impact on public" said Dr Patrick Herminie, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles, delivering the keynote speech at the Joint Session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Regional Standing Committees for capacity strengthening on criminalisation and stigmatisation as disincentives to the realisation of fundamental human rights and public health, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 9 to 13 May 2016. 

The focus of the three-day Joint Session was to strategise with 49 Members of Parliament (MPs) from across Southern Africa, as individual legislators and as part of the governance system at national level with responsibilities and obligations; to respect protect, promote and realise human rights principles and standards through their legislative, oversight and representational functions.

The AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (ARASA) was the co-convener of the meeting and provided experts in the field to provide guidance and resources on parliamentary scrutiny of policy and legislation on criminalisation of HIV transmission and disclosure, strengthening the capacity of parliaments to intervene across the uneven constitutional landscape using evidence and scientific data; tuberculosis in the mining industry; criminalisation and People Who use Drugs (PWUDs); criminalisation of same-sex relationships and lesbian, gay bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) persons; criminalisation of Termination of Pregnancy and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents; and harnessing TRIPS flexibilities for access to medicines.
While it is always difficult to quantify changes in attitudes from such meetings, there was a general shift in the thinking of parliamentarians around criminalization, and many mentioned that they are not aware of how these issue impact the HIV response. This is a campaign that ARASA will keep pushing forward in the region and as a member of HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE.
"As the world sails towards ambitious goals that include ending AIDS and achieving universal access to health for all, some sections of our communities are being left behind", said Hon. Herminie. He also highlighted the desperate need for a regional approach to strengthening sexual and reproductive health rights’ interventions through a right-based lens and the political leadership desperately needed for the protection of human rights.

"The narrow scope of the exercise of the rights of key or marginalized populations, often times led to not only leaving these pockets of populations behind, but lengthy prison sentences; all because of the epidemic of bad laws," said Hon. Herminie.

Read a special edition of The Sentinel, the official newsletter of the Human & Social Development and Special Programmes of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, covering the issue of HIV criminalisation.

For media coverage from the meeting, kindly go to:

  1. SADC states advised to chart approach on sexual reproductive health rights
  2. SADC PF decries criminalisation in public health response
  3. HIV criminalization setback regional AIDS efforts
  4. TB mines remain health disaster
  5. SADC MPs urged to decriminalize drugs
  6. Decriminalise abortion

Latest News from HIV Justice Network

Advocates fighting to end HIV criminalisation reach a global  TV/web audience on The Stream
 Edwin J Bernard - June 28, 2016

 Last night, HIV criminalisation advocacy reached a global  audience on both TV and the internet with The Stream, on  Al Jazeera English. During the 30 minute programme, HIV  criminalisation survivor, and Sero advisory board member,  Ken Pinkela appeared with co-hosts … More →

Canada: In Nova Scotia, glimmers of hope for science in the  prosecution of HIV non-disclosure
 Cécile Ka
zatchkine - June 29, 2016

 Analysis by our HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE partner, the  Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Despite very few  prosecutions, Nova Scotia has become an interesting place i  in Canada with respect to the criminalisation of HIV non-  disclosure. In April 2016, a trial judge from … More →

 US: Second HIV is not a Crime training academy creates an  important intersectional shift in the US anti-HIV  criminalisation movement
 Edwin J Bernard - June 27, 2016

 The second HIV Is Not a Crime Training Academy, which  took place in May at the University of Alabama, Huntsville,  brought together more than 300 advocates from 34 US  states, as well delegations from Canada and Mexico.  Organised jointly by … More →

 Australia: Zaburoni V Queen legal Analysis
 David Buchanan - June 26, 2016

 This analysis is by David Buchanan SC, Barrister at Forbes  Chambers, Sydney. It was originally published in LGBT Law  Notes and is republished here with his permission. In a  case that should reduce the extent of overcharging in HIV  criminal … More →

Latest HIV Criminalisation Cases

USA, OH Ohio 
Ohio man who spat on police officers faces an additional thrid-degree felony charge for being HIV positive, despite zero transmission risk
Man with HIV gets felony after spitting on officers
                       July 2, 2016
Court upholds sexual assault conviction of Calgary man for alleged HIV transmission
Conviction stands against Calgary man who infected new bride with HIV
                        July 1, 2016
USA, OK Oklahoma 
Oklahoma City man sentenced to 5 years in prison for alleged HIV non-disclosure
Man accused of sexual relationships without disclosing HIV status sentenced to prison
                       June 27, 2016
Buda-Koshlevo man sentenced to 7 years in colony for HIV transmission based on his medical records.
Суд приговорил заразившего двух женщин ВИЧ к семи годам колонии
                       June 23, 2016
Constitutional court dismisses appeal from two people convicted of “knowingly infecting” their partner. They now face up to 20 years imprisonment.
Concourt on Wilful HIV Infections
                       June 20, 2016
Penza man prosecuted for alleged HIV transmission as a result of epidemiological investigation at antenatal clinic
Пензенец заразил ВИЧ–инфекцией свою сожительницу
                       June 20, 2016
USAMI Michigan 
USA: Michigan preliminary court hearing delayed until July for male sex worker facing charge of “Having sex with an uninformed partner”
June 16, 2016
Fez Court of Appeal acquits HIV positive man charged with intentional HIV transmission after taking into account his viral load and treatment
L’ALCS se rejouit de l’acquittement d’un seropositif
                       June 14, 2016
USA, TN Tennessee
Tennessee man charged with one count of criminal exposure to HIV despite disclosure and being on medication
Nashville Man Charged After HIV Scare
                       June 13, 2016
USA, TX Texas 
Houston man charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for alleged HIV transmission
Man may be knowingly infecting victims with HIV, police say
                       June 10, 2016
Bulawayo man pleads not-guilty to charges of “deliberate HIV transmission”
Man Up for infecting his wife
June 5, 2016
Since May 20, 2016, there have been 20 reported cases from around the world. If you know of others, please contact

HIV Criminalisation News From Around The World

US: Democratic party pledges to “address HIV Criminalization Laws”in its 2016 draft party platform
Democratic Party Comes Out Strong for LGBTQ Equality in 2016 Party Platform
July 4, 2016

Canada: Activists challenge Ontario’s Premier to intervene in unjust prosecutions
Banner drop! Stop criminalizing people living with HIV!
July 4, 2016

Australia: Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Council calls on government to engage in community consultation before debating the proposed amendments to the Police Administration Act that forces HIV, hepatitis B & C blood testing of offenders
NT Aids and Hepatitis Council says amendments to Police Administration Act could breach civil liberties
June 27, 2016

Russia: Gay propaganda law especially impacting men with HIV who are being blackmailed for not disclosing their HIV status by anti-gay gangs
Russian crime gangs find gays easy targets for blackmail
June 7, 2016

US: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers pass resolution opposing all laws that base criminal liability and/or penalty enhancements on one’s HIV status rather than on the intent to harm another individual
Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Decries HIV Criminalization
May 26, 2016

US: Colorado legislature votes to overhaul HIV criminalisation laws and now awaits Governor’s signature
Activists Win Legislative Overhaul of Colorado’s HIV Criminalization Laws, Await Governor’s Signature
May 25, 2016

Canada has a leading place in prosecuting people with HIV, according to recent advancing HIV Justice 2 Report
Canada’s shame: its leading place in prosecuting people with HIV
May 22, 2016

US: Clinton promises she’ll reform HIV criminalisation laws in her opening presentation at 2nd HIV is not a crime conference
Clinton Promises She’ll Reform HIV Criminalization Laws
May 19, 2016

South Africa: At SADC-PF parliamentarians meeting in South Africa, Patrick Eba of UNAIDS says HIV criminalization is a setback to regional AIDS efforts
HIV criminalisation a setback to regional AIDS efforts
May 17, 2016

US: Blog post by HIV Criminalisation survivor Monique Howell-Moree
HIV Survivors Need Support, Not Jail Cells
May 11, 2016

Supported by a grant from the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund provided to the HIV Justice Global Consortium
This newsletter is produced by the HIV Justice Network on behalf of HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE.

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