HIV Justice Worldwide - Editorial
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 - Photo Credit: Nicholas Feustel.
(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 (currently HJN Research Fellow on HIV, Gender and Justice, soon to be GNP+ Executive Director); 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) and Lisa Power (OpTEST).
The HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE movement to end HIV criminalisation is growing.
Last month, at our second HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE strategy meeting, our partners and supporters spent three days discussing ways to work closer together to further enhance the capacity of advocates to challenge and influence law-, policy- and decision-makers to prevent or stop unjust use of criminal laws against people living with HIV.
This year - as well as refining our protocols for joint monitoring, response and advocacy – we are working on a number of tools to support you in your ongoing advocacy against HIV criminalisation.
These will include:
- An HIV JUSTICE Advocacy Toolkit, that we hope to launch in English by the end of the summer, and in French, Russian and Spanish soon after;
- A Global Directory of organisations and lawyers working on (or interested in) HIV criminalisation, to be launched very soon; and
- A globally relevant Scientific Consensus Statement on HIV in the Context of the Criminal Law, that we hope to have ready by the end of the year.
There will also be a number of exciting projects led by our regional partners, including regional and national meetings and consultations to further our understanding of how to best tailor advocacy and law reform approaches to specific contexts and settings, including work focusing on the impact of HIV criminalisation on women.
Make sure you tell your colleagues and fellow activists to sign up our mailing list and if you know of someone who hasn't yet filled out our Global Directory Survey, it's never too late.
Over the coming months, we will be announcing new ways to be part of the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE movement, so watch out for our next newsletter (and video) with details of how to get involved.
Edwin J Bernard
Global Co-ordinator, HIV Justice Network
Features, opinions and analysis
|“GNP+’s gain is also HJN’s gain”: proudly announcing Laurel Sprague’s appointment as Executive Director of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)
Edwin J. Bernard - April 3, 2017
Today, we are proud to announce that Laurel Sprague, PhD, our Global Research Fellow on HIV, Gender, and Justice has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+). Laurel will join … More →
Love Positive Women
February 14, 2017
Let’s hear it for Positive Women! This is a love letter from the HIV Justice Network to the more than 18,000,000 women living with HIV in the world today. The HIV Justice Network exists to end the inappropriate use of … More →
HIV Justice Worldwide Partners Activities
Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)
GNP+ Appoints Human Rights Activist as Its New Executive Director
The Board of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) is pleased to welcome Dr. Laurel Sprague as our new Executive Director. Dr. Sprague is a passionate social justice activist and a widely respected educator and researcher who has extensively championed the human rights and needs of key populations and people living with HIV. In addition, Dr. Sprague is a long time organizational ally. She has served as the regional coordinator for GNP+NA, the North American Affiliate of GNP+, and as a GNP+ Board Member, and has provided technical support to PLHIV networks worldwide on the People Living with HIV Stigma Index research and analysis for nearly a decade.
As a person living with HIV, Dr. Sprague has been firmly rooted in the struggle for HIV, human rights and social justice since her own diagnosis in 1991. Her expertise is in enabling legal environments and human rights approaches to health. Her commitment is to self-empowerment movements, resilience, and solidarity among people living with HIV and key populations across race, gender, identity, experience, and geography. Dr. Sprague comes to GNP+ from the HIV Justice Network, which monitors, documents, and analyses HIV criminalisation laws and their effects, where she served as the Global Research Fellow on HIV, Gender and Justice. From 2014-2016, Dr. Sprague served on the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, where she co-lead efforts to address intellectual property barriers to treatment access, protections of sexual and reproductive health and rights for key populations living with HIV, and financing for the community-led HIV response. Dr. Sprague holds a PhD in political science and has been an Honors College Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Faculty Member at Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University in the United States, teaching political, democratic, and feminist theory. Her social science research focuses on processes for representation of marginalized groups in global institutions and measuring and responding to HIV-related stigma, discrimination, and human rights abuses.
“I am deeply honoured to serve our global movement of people living with HIV as the newest Executive Director. GNP+ has played a critical role in my own development and my recognition of the solidarity and the courage expressed worldwide by people living with HIV, our networks of key population groups, and those who love and support us. We have hard work ahead of us. While many people with HIV are now enjoying strong, healthy, full lives; urgency and collaboration are needed to ensure dignity, decency, and survival for the many more people living with HIV and key populations still struggling” said Dr. Sprague.
Positive Women's Network-USA
Bodily Autonomy: A Framework to Guide Our Future
Bodily autonomy is the simple but radical concept that individuals have the right to control what does and does not happen to our bodies. When we have full bodily autonomy, not only are we empowered to make decisions about our health and future – without coercion or control by others – we also have the support and resources needed to meaningfully carry out these decisions.
The concept of bodily autonomy is central to Positive Women’s Network – USA’s vision of a world where all women and girls living with HIV can lead long, healthy, dignified and productive lives, free from stigma, discrimination, and violence in all forms. In this era of increasing surveillance and political repression, hate-fueled violence, and attempts to further restrict reproductive rights and freedom of movement, we assert the fundamental rights of all people, and in particular for women and folks of trans experience living with HIV, to control our bodies and futures. When women and girls living with HIV are free, all of us will be free.
On March 10, (US) National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day, we presented Bodily Autonomy: A Framework to Guide Our Future in a special webinar. Watch the recording here.
Read more about PWN-USA's Bodily Autonomy Framework
HIV Justice Network
The HIV Justice Network welcomes our new Senior Policy Analyst
The HIV Justice Network welcomes Sally Cameron who recently joined the team as our Senior Policy Analyst.
Sally has worked closely with HJN for a number of years, including as co-author, with Global Co-ordinator, Edwin J Bernard, of both the Advancing HIV Justice and Advancing Justice 2 reports. Sally will oversee a number of important projects for us this year, including the forthcoming HIV JUSTICE Advocacy Toolkit and Scientific Consensus Statement.
Based in Queensland, Australia, Sally has been working on issues relating to HIV, gender, community development and capacity building for many years, most recently as HIV Education and Health Promotion Officer – Policy at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).
As well as co-authoring the two Advancing HIV Justice reports for HJN and GNP+, Sally has worked on many important HIV criminalisation publications over the years, including as author of ‘HIV, Crime and the Law in Australia: Options for Policy Reform – a law reform advocacy kit’ for AFAO; co-author of ‘The Global Criminalisation Scan 2010: Documenting trends, presenting evidence‘ for the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+); co-editor and author of ‘The Criminalisation of HIV in Australia: Legality, Morality Reality‘ for the National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWA); and author of the ‘Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals‘ for Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM).
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: MEASURING IMPACT
A monitoring, evaluation and learning guide on legal advocacy
For quite some time, and in the interest of creating sustainable change, we’ve been asking ourselves critical questions about how we can monitor and evaluate the impact of our work and learn from past successes and failures. Litigation and other advocacy strategies are key to advancing human rights, but advocacy — and particularly legal advocacy — is not always the easiest to measure. More often than not, advocacy is a bumpy, winding road that can be both exhilarating and challenging to navigate. So how do we capture these nuances and examine our real-world progress?
Two years ago, we embarked on a project to enhance the monitoring and evaluation of our ongoing advocacy efforts, an initiative made possible by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s Partnership Grant Program. Today, we are ready to share some of what we’ve learned with you via our handy guidebook, toolkit and even a video case study.
If you head over to the new Measuring Impact page of our website, you can download Advocacy and Social Justice: Measuring Impact, our new monitoring, evaluation and learning guide for legal advocacy, as well as helpful tools you can adapt for your own use. The guide and the tools are all very user-friendly, with step by step instructions on how best to capture information that can really amplify your advocacy efforts.
Save the date!
The Legal Network’s Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights is happening in Toronto on June 15, 2017, with a focus on building momentum to roll back unjust HIV criminalization. Registration information and the Symposium agenda will be available on www.aidslaw.ca soon!
HIV Criminalisation News from Around the World
News reports from HIV Justice Network:
March 22, 2017 - Press Release from SERO Project
The Florida HIV Justice Coalition today applauded members of the Florida State Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee for voting unanimously yesterday in favor of Senate Bill 628. SB 628 will modernize … More →
March 1st, 2017 - From HIV Justice Network
Breach of HIV status confidentiality and discrimination by the Hon Justice Olagunju of the Oyo State Judiciary Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. March 1, 2017. Coalition of Lawyers for Human Rights, COLaHR, is a Coalition of Human Rights Lawyers working on … More →
February 28, 2017 - From HIV Justice Network
The Russian government is considering removing Article 122 (Infection with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) from the Criminal Code, according to an article published earlier this month on the RBC website. Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has instructed a number of ministries … More →
News from other sources:
NZ: The prosecution of people living with HIV for HIV non-disclosure is at odds with medical advances.
February 20, 2017 - From HIV Justice Network
Olympic medalist, 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist, and 2004 Rolex Kentucky CCI**** victor, Darren Chiacchia of Ocala, FL and Springville, NY, has been cleared of all charges … More →
January 13, 2017 - From HIV Justice Network
This week, Toronto’s weekly newspaper, ‘Now’, features four articles on HIV criminalisation and its impact in Canada. The lead article, ‘HIV is not a crime’ is written from the point of view of an HIV-negative person who discovers a sexual … More →
April 3, 2017 - From National
Living with HIV is no death sentence
US: Promising development for Georgia advocates as State lawmakers create committee to assess HIV laws
March 30, 2017 - From Project Q Atlanta
Georgia lawmakers poised to study HIV decriminalization
US: Two congresswomen, co-chairs of the HIV caucus in Congress, teamed up to introduce a bill aiming to modernise HIV laws
March 30, 2017 - From Sunshine State News
Ileana Ros–Lehtinen Wants to Change HIV/AIDS Laws
Canada: New report from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network analyses patterns of HIV criminalisation in Canada up to 2016
March 30, 2017 - From Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
HIV Criminalization in Canada: Key trends and patterns
US: California bill to modernise HIV criminalisation statutes a step closer to becoming law
March 29, 2017 - From EQCA-Equalilty California
Bill To Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws Passes First Major Hurdle
US: “HIV can be prevented or it can be prosecuted, but not both” writes Sean Strub in a new book on the war and stigmatisation of sex
March 28, 2017 - From POZ
HIV: Prosecution or Prevention? HIV Is Not a Crime
India: HIV/AIDS (Prevention & Control) Bill passed in Upper House, providing strong rights and confidentiality protections and no HIV criminalisation provisions
March 28, 2017 - From Hindustan Times
The new HIV and AIDS Bill will work to reduce stigma and discrimination
US: On-going research project shows strong regional and gender differences in the 99 HIV criminalisation convictions in Florida since 1995
March 25, 2017 - From SFGN
HIV Criminalization Convictions in Florida from 1995 to 2016
New Zealand: Ex-partner of the first person prosecuted for HIV transmission in New Zealand believes HIV prosecutions are harmful
March 25, 2017 - From the New Zealand Herald
HIV prosecutions are harmful, says victim
US: Bill before California Senate bill would modernise HIV criminalisation laws in line with the latest science
March 24, 2017 - From the Bay Area Reporter
Proponents argue for HIV criminalization reform
Mexico: Legislation to criminalise HIV transmission withdrawn in San Luis Potosi State Congress
March 17, 2017 - From La Orquesta
Diputada retira dictamen para penalizar el contagio de VIH en SLP
US: Florida Supreme Court rules that HIV-disclosure before “sexual intercourse” applies to same-sex relationships as well as heterosexual ones
March 17, 2017 - From Florida Politics
Florida Supreme Court rules sex is sex, no matter who’s doing it
US: American Pyschological Association’s entire March newsletter explores why HIV criminalisation “can no longer be ignored.”
March 11, 2017 - From the American Psychological Association
APA’s commitment to decriminalizing HIV
Mexico: Roberto Guzman on why HIV criminalisation laws do not protect women from HIV or violence and are inappropriate
March 11, 2017 - From Jorge Castro
#Columna LA MUJER Y SU CRIMINALIZACIÓN POR VIH
US: Article (including quotes from Sero’s Sean Strub) highlights how movement against HIV criminalisation is growing stronger in 2017
March 10, 2017 - From Outward
HIV Criminalization Is Detrimental to Public Health. It’s Time for the Law to Catch Up
Sweden: Government tasks Public Health Agency with HIV review to include “what need is there to provide specific information to the courts and other law enforcement authorities about the state of knowledge on the infectivity of HIV infection in a well-functioning treatment.”
March 10, 2017 - From Regeringskansliet
Kunskapsläget om smittorisker vid HIV ska följas upp
Canada: Powerful first person testimony from Chad Clarke, an HIV criminalisation survivor and now passionate advocate
March 9, 2017 - From Positive Lite
From behind bars to the front lines of anti–criminalization advocacy
Canada: Advocacy groups hope law criminalising HIV non-disclosure will change soon
March 6, 2017 - - From the Toronto Star online
Advocates hope for change in HIV non–disclosure law after Ottawa meeting with provinces
US: In-depth review of scientific studies on the criminalisation of HIV exposure
March 2, 2017 - From AIDS and Behavior
Criminalization of HIV Exposure: A Review of Empirical Studies in the United States, Dini Harsono, Carol Galletly, Elaine O’Keefe, Zita Lazzarini, AIDS and Behavior (2017)
UK: Inaccurate information around the risk of HIV or HCV transmission posed to police officers by spitting is stigmatising and hugely damaging
March 2, 2017 - From Pink News
Tabloids are still spreading a basic falsehood about HIV
US: Modernising California HIV-criminalisation laws is crucial to reduce the fear and discrimination that lead to more HIV infections
March 1, 2017 - From the Sacramento Bee
Modernize California laws targeting people with HIV
[Update] US: Utah House Judiciary Committee approves bill making it a criminal offense to engage in consensual sexual activity without disclosing known HIV-positive status
February 27, 2017 - From the Salt Lake Tribune
Utah committee approves bill that increases penalties for failing to disclose HIV–positive status
Canada: Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization hopeful after meeting with federal justice officials but some provinces remain reluctant
February 20, 2017 - From NOW
Momentum building for HIV law reform
US: Naomi Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter, on why the proposed bill to reform HIV criminalisation laws in California is such an important step in the fight against HIV
February 17, 2017 - From The Hill
HIV bill in CA could decrease stigma and discrimination
Canada: Community organisations in Ontario call for an immediate moratorium on all prosecutions and sound prosecutorial guidelines
February 8, 2017 - From the Toronto Star online
Stop the witch–hunt of HIV criminalization
US: Bill introduced in California to modernise outdated laws criminalising HIV
February 7, 2017 - From APLA Health
Sen. Scott Wiener and Assembly member Todd Gloria Announce Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws
Philippines: Under Philippine law, non-disclosure of HIV could be ground for annulment of marriage but not criminal liability, says Legal Advocacy Center’s Director
February 5, 2017 - From The Sun Star
Concealing HIV–Aids ground for annulment
Malta: European AIDS Treatment Group interviews Edwin J Bernard of the HIV Justice Network about their work so far, and what lays ahead
February 3, 2017 - From EATG
Edwin Bernard Interview
Malawi: Zomba High Court in Malawi delivers landmark ruling on the application of criminal law to cases of HIV transmission and exposure
February 1, 2017 - From Southern Africa Litigation Centre
Malawi High Court affirms Human Right Approach to Criminalisation of HIV Transmission and Exposure
Canada: Eye-opening document on how Crown attorneys approach prosecuting HIV non-disclosure cases disclosed
January 14, 2017 - From Canadian Lawyer
Document on HIV non–disclosure prosecutions disclosed
Latest HIV Criminalisation Cases
Man wanted in Canada for alleged HIV non-disclosure files contempt of court proceedings against Jamaican Justice Minister
Delroy Chuck being sued by man accused of infecting women with HIV
March 31, 2017