The HIV Justice Network is a global information and advocacy hub for individuals and organisations working to end the inappropriate use of the criminal law to regulate and punish people living with HIV.
The HIV Justice Network’s mission is to collate, create and disseminate information and resources enabling individuals and communities to effectively advocate against inappropriate criminal prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived exposure and transmission.
Goals and objectives
The principal goal of the HIV Justice Network is to connect, inform, educate, support and empower individuals and communities advocating for a fairer, just, rational, proportionate and limited use of laws, policies and practices to regulate and punish people living with HIV.
This will result in advocates who are better informed, empowered and connected and, therefore, more able to challenge and influence decision makers in order to: repeal or modernise unfair laws; ensure that any use of existing laws is limited and fairly applied; and present alternatives to a punitive, regulatory approach that benefits both public health and human rights.
The HIV Justice Network has three main objectives:
- To monitor international developments regarding laws and prosecutions that criminalise HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived exposure and transmission, and how criminal justice actors and the media deal with individual cases, to better understand the ‘who, what, where, why and how’ of laws, policies and practices that inappropriately regulate and punish people living with HIV.
- To connect local, national, regional and global stakeholders, sharing information and resources to allow for targeted research and discussion of key issues, and identification of best practice models.
- To create practical resources to enable advocacy, empowerment and challenge through persuasive and pragmatic policy development and effective communication strategies.
Who are we?
Edwin launched the HIV Justice Network (under its former name HIV Action – the HIV Anti-Criminalisation Network) at the satellite meeting ‘Criminalisation of HIV Exposure and Transmission: Global Extent, Impact and The Way Forward’ prior to the International AIDS Conference in Vienna in July 2010.
Edwin also co-ordinates HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE, a collaboration of seven civil society organisations who have been working together formally to end HIV criminalisation globally since January 2016.
Formerly an editor at NAM, Edwin has greatly contributed to global knowledge of HIV criminalisation, writing extensively on the issue including two books for NAM – ‘Criminal HIV Transmission’ (2007) and ‘HIV and the Criminal Law’ (2010).
Since 2007 he has been documenting and analysing laws, laws enforcement, access to justice and advocacy developments in his Criminal HIV Transmission blog, which is now fully incorporated into the HIV Justice Network website.
Between 2011-13 he worked as a consultant with UNAIDS on their 2013 guidance note on HIV criminalisation and also works closely with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) on their Global Criminalisation Scan.
In December 2011, Edwin was named by POZ Magazine as one of the few non-Americans included in the POZ 100: “people, things and ideas we love”.
In February 2012, Edwin co-ordinated the Oslo Declaration on HIV Criminalisation which, to date, has more than 1750 supporters in 119 countries.
He also works closely with his life partner, Nicholas Feustel (HJN’s video advocacy consultant), to produce the educational and advocacy documentaries on HIV criminalisation, including Doing HIV Justice and More Harm Than Good.
Laurel Sprague, Global Research Fellow on HIV, Gender, and Justice
US-born Laurel Sprague has been living with HIV since 1991.
Prior to joining the HIV Justice Network in June 2016, she has worked as the Research Director at the Sero Project, leading research into attitudes about HIV criminalisation held by people living with HIV; as the Regional Coordinator at GNP+North America, implementing the PLHIV Stigma Index within North America; and, most recently, as a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, while teaching side courses in Women and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University.
Laurel will be working to communicate research findings out to activists; to organise our data on criminalisation cases reported in the media; to identify research gaps; and to support the work to bring women more clearly into our work to end HIV criminalisation.
Based in Detroit, Michigan, her geeky loves are feminist, queer, and political theory and her hobbies are hiking with her dogs, camping, and kayaking.
Sylvie Beaumont, Research/Outreach Co-ordinator
Sylvie has been involved in HIV since the late 80s when she started work as a volunteer to translate some of the vital information coming out of the English-speaking world into French.
She eventually joined NAM/aidsmap in the 90s as international editor and worked on the development of a multilingual platform aiming to facilitate networking, and information sharing between HIV organisations across the world.
In 2014, she became coordinator of ReShape, a London-based independent HIV think tank and joined the HIV Justice Network in April 2016.
She also carries on working as a translator specialising in HIV and remains involved in the development of knowledge sharing and content distribution platforms on a variety of projects.
Nicholas Feustel, Video Advocacy Consultant
He has been working with the HIV Justice Network since 2010, when he produced the video for the satellite meeting ‘Criminalisation of HIV Exposure and Transmission: Global Extent, Impact and The Way Forward’ held just prior to the International AIDS Conference in Vienna.
Evgenia Maron, EECA Consultant
Back in 2002, Russian-born Evgenia started as a local NGO social worker at the state detoxication clinic, and since then has been working with international and local organisations on human right issues.
She became interested in HIV criminalisation in 2003 when she undertook research with St. Petersburg State University to track the patterns of HIV status disclosure. Since then she has been working with the community, the media, donors and decision makers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
With a Master’s in social work, more recently her work has focused on gender assessments of national HIV responses and on tuberculosis.
Designed and developed by Kieran McCann and Thomas Paterson, NAM.
The HIV Justice Network is also grateful to The Monument Trust for its generous support between 2012-15 without which this important initiative would not have been possible.