Housing Works supports evidence-based HIV prevention interventions that encourage community empowerment, safety, and self-determination. HIV criminalization statutes – “laws that create HIVspecific crimes or which increase penalties for persons who are HIV positive and convicted of criminal offenses” – do not fall within such a continuum of prevention.
They have not been shown to prevent the spread of HIV, and may further drive the epidemic by discouraging HIV testing and status disclosure in order to avoid possible prosecution. These outdated statues deny HIV-positive individuals the empowerment to choose if and when to disclose, can compromise individuals’ safety, fuel stigma, and inappropriately punish HIV-positive individuals for simply engaging in consensual, and often protected, sex. For these reasons and those outlined in this resource, Housing Works strongly opposes HIV criminalization statues and calls for their universal repeal.
Download the resource to learn more.