Globally, HIV criminalisation continues to exacerbate and perpetuate HIV stigma and discrimination. Over 70 countries have laws that specifically criminalise HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission, and 39 countries have used existing criminal laws to prosecute people living with HIV. Society and criminal justice systems have failed to keep up with scientific advances of recent years and, in particular, our understanding of the powerful impact anti-retroviral therapy has on reducing HIV transmission risk. We now know that individuals on effective HIV therapy with an undetectable viral load do not transmit the virus to their sexual partners. This knowledge has not, as yet, translated into any significant change to the application of criminal law. The era of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) should support our ability to use scientific evidence to end the criminalisation of HIV and the disproportionate impact this has on marginalised communities and those less able, for whatever reason, to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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