July 2017                                                                                         View this email in your browser 
HIV Justice Worldwide - July 2017
Last month, national, regional, and international organisations working on HIV criminalisation were invited to join the growing HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE movement.  So far, 42 organisations from around the world have joined the movement.  Is yours one of them?  If not, why not join the movement now?

HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE is a growing, global movement to shape the discourse on HIV criminalisation as well as share information and resources, network, build capacity, mobilise advocacy, and cultivate a community of transparency and collaboration.

The mission of HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE is to seek to abolish criminal and similar laws, policies and practices that regulate, control and punish people living with HIV based on their HIV-positive status.

We believe that this HIV criminalisation is discriminatory, a violation of human rights, undermines public health, and is detrimental to individual health and well-being.

Read about the values and principles guiding our work.

What are the benefits of joining HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE?
By joining HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE, your organisation can become part of a vibrant global community of advocates fighting to abolish HIV-related criminalisation.

As well as receiving our newsletter, your organisation will also have access to our listserv, a safe space to discuss and share information not in the public domain, where we can share resources, mobilise for rapid response to cases and proposed laws, and inspire advocacy to oppose existing laws criminalising people living with, and vulnerable to, HIV.

CAPTION: HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS in front of the Brighton AIDS Memorial on New Steine during our second strategy meeting in Brighton, March 2017 (L-R): Nicholas Feustel (HJN Video Advocacy Consultant); Sean Strub (Sero Project); Catherine Murphy (Amnesty International); Evgenia Maron (HJWW EECA Consultant); Sylvie Beaumont (HJN Research/Outreach Co-ordinator); Seth Earn (AIDS Free World); Patrick Eba (UNAIDS); Laurel Sprague (GNP+); Edwin J Bernard (HJN Global Co-ordinator); Lynette Mabote (ARASA); Richard Elliott (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network); Naina Khanna (PWN-USA); Julian Hows (GNP+); Ferenc Bagyinszky (AIDS Action Europe); and Sally Cameron (HJN Senior Policy Analyst).  Other participants at the meeting, but not pictured here, were: Sophie Brion (ICW) Lisa Power (HJN Supervisor Board Chair) and Boyan Konstantinov (UNDP). Photo Credit: Nicholas Feustel.

What if there is more than one person in our organisation who wants to join HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE?
Only one person from each organisation can fill in the join the movement sign-up form.  Once you have been added to the listserv, you will receive email instructions on how to add others from your organisation.  We need to ensure that everyone who is part of the listserv signs up to our mission statement and endorses our values and principles in order to keep it safe space to discuss sensitive issues outside of the public domain.

What if I am individual who would like to be part of the movement?
Individuals with no organisational affiliation are unable to join HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE, which is for organisations who are working to end HIV criminalisation.  You can, however, subscribe to our newsletter if you haven't already. 

In solidarity,

Edwin J Bernard
Global Co-ordinator, HIV Justice Network
HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE is a global campaign to abolish criminal and similar laws, policies and practices that regulate, control and punish people living with HIV based on their HIV-positive status.
Features, opinions and analysis
Remarks delivered by Edwin J Bernard at 'Leave no one behind: Lessons from the Global Commission on HIV and the Law for Agenda 2030'
July 14, 2017
At a side meeting convened the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) during the High-Level Political Forum, HIV Justice Network’s Global Co-ordinator, Edwin J Bernard, delivered the following remarks:

Despite the incredible advances in the science of HIV treatment and prevention, and despite the roadmap created by the prescient and powerful recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, too many people who could benefit from these scientific advances are being left behind. More →


US advocates launch Consensus Statement on HIV "Treatment as Prevention"
in criminal law reform

July 14, 2017

Yesterday saw the launch of a Consensus Statement on HIV “Treatment as Prevention” in Criminal Law Reform, to provide guidance for efforts to reform or “modernize” HIV-specific laws across the United States.

The concern, as highlighted by Charles King, President and Chief Executive Officer, Housing Works, Inc, is that if HIV criminalisation reform focuses soley on changing laws so that those who are virally suppressed are not considered ‘a risk’ that this approach will not address the unjust disproportional impact of the US criminal legal system on people of colour, LGBTI people, sex workers, and the financially disadvantaged.
More →
Forthcoming events

First European HIV Academy for Enabling Legal Environments 
September 13-14, 2017 - Berlin, Germany

A call for applications for the European HIV Academy for Enabling Legal Environments is now open. This two-day training academy for people living with and affected by HIV, is dedicated to skills building for addressing punitive or disabling legal environments. … More →

2nd Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV, TB and the Law
August 3-4, 2017 - Johannesburg, South Africa

The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, under the Africa Regional Grant on HIV: Removing Legal Barriers will host the second Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV, TB and the Law on 3-4 August 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa… More →

HIV Is Not a Crime National Training Academy  
June 3-6, 2018 - Indianapolis, USA

SERO Project and Positive Women’s Network-USA Announce 2018 HIV Is Not a Crime National Training Academy in Indianapolis: Building on the amazing success of the HIV Is Not a Crime II National Training Academy last year … More →


HIV Justice Worldwide Partners Activities

AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)
Moving towards revolutionising approaches to HIV Criminalisation
Laurel Sprague

“We have all agreed with the Sustainable Development Goal of ending HIV and Tuberculosis by 2030. We cannot get there while we are arresting the same people we are supposed to ensure are accessing treatment and living positively,” said Dr Ruth Labode, a member of Parliament from Zimbabwe opening remarks at a two-day global meeting co-hosted by the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and HIV Justice Worldwide (HJWW) on 24 and 25 April 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which focused on “Revolutionising approaches to Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission”. More →

Since its inception, ARASA has played an active role in addressing HIV criminalisation in the region and globally. ARASA has strengthened the capacity of civil society on the issue and supported partners to work with the media, parliamentarians, members of the judiciary and lawyers to address HIV criminalisation.

To read more about the meeting, follow #Decrim4Health on Facebook and Twitter. You can also view a gallery of photos taken during the meeting here.

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Rethinking Justice: 7th Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights

On June 15, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network hosted its 7th Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights. Rethinking Justice was a chance for people to come together to talk about how much more work remains to be done to limit unjust HIV criminalization in Canada.

This year’s Symposium included an audio experience featuring the stories of four people who have experienced first-hand the harsh overcriminalization of HIV. The stories, based on research by Alex McClelland, were part of a lived experience panel that underscored the need to challenge unjust laws.

MP Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Justice, in attendance, heard the very real impact of criminalization. He noted that “having HIV is not a crime” and reiterated the government’s commitment to reviewing the criminal law. His remarks were followed by an overview of HIV criminalization globally (presented by Edwin J. Bernard) and in Canada (presented by Amy Wah). Then, Megan Longley presented on the use of scientific expert evidence in cases of alleged HIV non-disclosure, and D. Art Poon shared emerging developments in phylogenetic forensic science and its possible implications for HIV criminalization.

The afternoon sessions began with Glenn Betteridge providing an update on the ongoing campaign for prosecutorial guidelines in Ontario, and the continued call for an immediate moratorium on prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure while sound guidelines are developed. The presentation that followed, by Notisha Massaquoi, highlighted the impact of racism and sexism in the overrepresentation of Indigenous and racialized (specifically, Black) people in HIV criminalization cases in Canada. Her presentation was followed by some of the pros and cons of amending the Criminal Code as a strategy to limit unjust HIV criminalization (presented by Richard Elliott).

One of the main goals of the symposium was to initiate a conversation aimed at eventually building a country-wide community consensus statement on measures needed to end unjust prosecutions in Canada for HIV non-disclosure. Given the evolution of the law in Canada through court and prosecutorial decisions to date, this task also means revisiting the complex question of whether and how amendments to the Criminal Code might be needed as part of the solution to overcriminalization of HIV in Canada — and that this might include proposing a narrowly crafted HIV-specific offence if necessary.

Before breaking into small groups to answer some key questions to inform the development of a consensus statement, conference participants heard from Ryan Peck on identifying elements of a consensus statement. The small group exercise, facilitated by Tim McCaskell and Valérie Pierre-Pierre, revealed the range of opinions on how best to tackle HIV criminalization. The purpose of the exercise was to begin the process of developing a community consensus statement, including tackling the question of advocating for Criminal Code amendments. In the coming months, more voices will be heard and included as the nascent Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization reaches out to people living with HIV and HIV organizations across the country to get their views.


Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)
Connected Action - Poz Magazine interviews Laurel Sprague, GNP+ Executive Director

Laurel Sprague, PhD, is the executive director of GNP+ (The Global Network of People Living with HIV). The Amsterdam-based organization works to improve the quality of life for all people living with HIV through global advocacy, community strengthening and knowledge management. Sprague took the helm of GNP+ in May, but she’s been committed to addressing human rights and social justice issues for more than 25 years.

She formerly worked as a global research fellow on HIV, gender and justice with the HIV Justice Network, an international group focused on ending inappropriate criminalization for nondisclosure, exposure and transmission of HIV. She was also on the UNAIDS Progamme Coordinating Board as a nongovernmental organization delegate for the United States.

Sprague, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, is no stranger to GNP+. She previously served as a regional coordinator for the North American affiliate of GNP+ and was also a board member.

Tell us about GNP+’s three major areas of focus.

GNP+ is in the middle of creating a new strategic plan that will guide how we bring all the pieces of our work under an overarching focus. Nothing that we are doing now will be lost, but the way we will approach it will be different as we move forward. More →


Positive Women's Network-USA
Celebrating 9 years of fierce leadership of women living with HIV

Special Message from the Executive Director

This month, Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA) celebrates our ninth year of fierce leadership by and for women living with HIV. As PWN-USA’s executive director and a woman living with HIV, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have collectively accomplished or more honored to serve in this capacity.

When PWN-USA was founded in June 2008 by 28 women with HIV, including folks of trans experience, the presence of our communities at policy- and decision-making tables in the HIV arena was heartbreakingly scant. Very few women living with HIV were well-recognized as leaders in the movement. There was no collective voice speaking on behalf of our communities. And, in large part because of structural racism, classism, transphobia, and poverty, those most frequently sought out as advisors were not those most reflective of the U.S. epidemic.

Today, that has changed, and we have built a strong and diverse movement. PWN is proud to be part of a transformation of the HIV landscape towards meaningful leadership by people living with HIV, with an emphasis on people of color, low-income folks, and folks of trans experience. In 2017, these communities are not only visible in HIV work; we are currently leading some of the most innovative, intersectional, and urgent battles for our collective liberation, including access to quality health care and economic justice; fighting for human rights and dignity.

PWN-USA is committed to fundamentally shift who is in power and how power is held by cultivating leadership and building power in the communities most impacted by the epidemic, while using transformative practices in our own organizing.

Read more about how we’ve done that and our herstory here.


SERO Project-USA
SERO Project introduces Network Empowerment Project

Sero’s Network Empowerment Project is an online resource for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and others interested in creating or strengthening networks of PLHIV, whether they focus on social support, recreation, education, awareness or advocacy.

The Network Empowerment Project’s tool-kit and other resources can be found online here. They include:

• Practical and logistical guidance for creating a new PLHIV network, including a step-by-step tool kit addressing leadership, fundraising and governance;
• Analyses of existing PLHIV networks, including research on what sustains them;
• Advocacy tools for contacting elected officials and influencing policy;
• Knowledge resources on key issues, including HIV criminalization, long-term survivors, trans issues,
• Articles, research and position papers relating to PLHIV networks, criminalization and other issues;
• Access to helpful databases; and
• A comprehensive directory of existing PLHIV networks in the U.S.

HIV Criminalisation News from Around the World

US: Global Commission on HIV and the Law and partners urge governments to promote progressive legislation based on science and human rights.
July 16, 2017 - From UNDP
Evidence– and rights– based laws and policies are key to ending AIDS

Canada: The recent conviction of a woman living with HIV exemplifies the injustices of the current use of sexual assault laws against people living with HIV
July 11, 2017 - From Now Toronto
When will justice department announce new approach to prosecuting cases of HIV non–disclosure?

Brazil: UN Working Group on HIV/AIDS states its opposition to Brazilian bill aiming to criminalise HIV transmission
July 7, 2017 - From Prenza Latina
Working group criticizes bill criminalizing HIV transmission
Canada: Positive Light magazine reflects on Rethinking Justice: the 7th Symposium on HIV Law & Human Rights
July 6, 2017 - From Positive Light Magazine
"I would not have consented to sex had I known of their HIV" status. This statement is problematic and here’s why. 

South Africa: Regional judges meet to discuss the use of law as a tool to respond to the HIV epidemic in Africa
June 30, 2017 - From UNDP Africa
Regional judges meet to promote law as a tool to strengthen the HIV response in Africa
South Korea: Women living with HIV reluctant to report sexual assaults, because of prejudices against people with HIV in the legal system and HIV criminalisation law
June 22, 2017 - From Korea Herald
Discrimination against people with HIV rampant: UN study 

UK: Yusef Azad of the National AIDS Trust calls for an end to HIV being used in court to emphasise the seriousness of a crime when it has no relevance to it
June 21, 2017 - From National Aids Trust
The "HIV Panic" attack – from prosecution to persecution 

Canada: Positive Lite interviews Edwin J. Bernard, Global coordinator of the HIV Justice Network
June 20, 2017 - From Positive Lite
Criminalization of HIV non–disclosure: is the tide turning?
US: The Body reviews the latest development in HIV criminalisation in the United States
June 15, 2017 - From the Body
What’s New in HIV Criminalization in the United States: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Mexico: Organisations call for the withdrawal of initiative aiming to criminalise HIV-transmission in Quintana Roo
June 14, 2017 - From Noticaribe
Le Llaman la atención a Diputada Beristain: Piden asociaciones detener iniciativa de penalización del VIH 

Canada: People of African, Caribbean and black descent over-represented in the mainstream media coverage of HIV non-disclosure.
June 13, 2017 - From Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange
Skewed Stories: Race and HIV Criminalization in the Media

Canada: Canada: Two staff members of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network discuss how the ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ campaign might best be understood to impact HIV criminalisation advocacy
June 6, 2017 - From CATIE
U=U and the overly–broad criminalization of HIV nondisclosure 

US: Lambda Legal describes California Senate Bill purpose to update HIV criminalisation laws
May 29, 2017 - From Gay Los Angeles
SB 239: A Long–Overdue Update of CA’s Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws 

US: Rolling Stone magazine covers HIV criminalisation and life as a person living with HIV in the US armed forces
May 23, 2017 - From Rolling Stone Magazine
What It’s Like to Be HIV Positive in the Military

US: Rural Health Quarterly investigates the impact of HIV criminalisation and stigma in rural America
May 19, 2017 - From Rural Health
The Hidden Epidemic: Fighting the Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Rural America

UK: Whole genome sequencing shows potential as public health tool, but not yet able to definitively prove direction (or timing) in criminal cases
April 28, 2017 - From I-base
Potential for phylogenetic analysis to show direction of HIV transmission

India: India: Parliament passes landmark bill ensuring equal rights to people living with HIV and giving them the right not to disclose their status
April 11, 2017 - From Hindustan Times
Lok Sabha passes ‘historic’ bill ensuring equal rights to HIV–affected people

Canada: Top Canadian scientists release statement calling for measures to address the overly broad use of criminal charges in HIV non-disclosure cases
April 8, 2017 - From BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Canada’s top HIV researchers urge federal, provincial and territorial governments to act now to limit the use of the criminal law in HIV non–disclosure cases


Latest HIV Criminalisation Cases

Ohio Court of Appeals upholds conviction and five-year prison sentence of man convicted for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Ohio Appeals Court Upholds Conviction of HIV–Positive Gay Man for Felonious Assault in Non–Disclosure Case
July 16, 2017
Appeal court upholds conviction of woman convicted of aggravated sexual assault for HIV non-disclosure

Court upholds sexual assault conviction of woman with HIV who had unprotected sex
July 6, 2017

Jamaican man extradited back to Canada to face charges of HIV non-disclosure
June 23, 2017

Czech Republic
Czech national deported from Thailand sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for alleged HIV transmission
Czech man sent to prison for spreading HIV knowingly
June 23, 2017

24 year old migrant from Guinea arrested by Israeli police for alleged HIV transmission
Illegal migrant arrested on suspicion of infecting girlfriend with HIV
June 23, 2017
Since April 1, 2017, there have been 50 reported cases from around the world.
If you know of others, please contact

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

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