Verdict on a Virus: Public Health, Human Rights and Criminal Law
14 November 2008
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) launched on 13 November 2008 a new report Verdict on a Virus: Public Health, Human Rights and Criminal Law. The aim of the publication is to provide information about the criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure and its related health, human rights and legal implications.
The report brings together opinions from legal experts, human rights groups, medical and health professionals and HIV activists. Ten questions around the criminalization of HIV transmission are explored as chapters which also provide answers followed by explanatory text and illustrated with case studies.
Verdict on a virus is also a call to action to advocate for “good strategies and laws” that promote HIV prevention, while working with governments to discourage and prevent new laws criminalizing transmission of HIV from being passed.
“The law can be a powerful tool in addressing HIV if it is used to empower those vulnerable to HIV infection and to its impact, by guaranteeing access to services and protecting people from discrimination and the sexual violence that can drive HIV vulnerability,” said Susan Timberlake UNAIDS Senior Advisor, Human Rights and Law. “We need to make scarce legal resources work for the HIV response, not against it,” she added.