News and features

Switzerland: Two (alleged) HIV transmission convictions this month despite many positive changes in law

February 22, 2016

On January 1st 2016, Switzerland’s Epidemics Act 2013 finally came into effect, which repeals and replaces the old Epidemics Act and in doing so, changes Article 231 of the Swiss Penal Code, which in the past has been used to … More

Germany: Aachen Court re-evaluates key ‘mens rea’ requirement in German law, rules HIV transmission without disclosure is negligent injury, not intentional harm

March 30, 2015

Last week, for the first time a German court ruled that HIV transmission without prior disclosure was negligent injury, rather than intentional harm. The District Court of Aachen sentenced a 43 year-old man to one year and nine months on … More

US: Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces acknowledges per-act sexual HIV exposure risk, limiting future military prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure as aggravated assault

February 25, 2015

The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) has reversed the 2011 aggravated assault conviction (upheld by the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals in 2013) of Airman David Gutierrez for potentially exposing a number of sex … More

US: Iowa Supreme Court rejects ‘theoretical’ HIV risk, reverses ‘HIV exposure’ conviction

June 16, 2014

Last Friday, June 13, the Iowa Supreme Court set aside the ‘HIV exposure’ conviction of Nick Rhoades, who was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison, with required registration as a sex offender, after having a one-time sexual encounter with … More

Canada: Nova Scotia court acquits young man with undetectable viral load of aggravated sexual assault for HIV non-disclosure despite no condom use

November 19, 2013

by Cecile Kazatchkine, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network On November 8 2013, the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia in Canada released a very encouraging decision in a case of HIV non-disclosure. A young man with an undetectable viral … More

Sweden: Court of Appeal acquits ‘HIV exposure’ case, recognises National Board of Health and Welfare endorsement of ‘Swiss statement’, Minister for Social Affairs will consider reviewing application of law

October 29, 2013

Today, the Court of Appeal for Skåne and Blekinge has acquitted a man from Malmö previously convicted of exposing four women to HIV on the grounds that since he had a stable undetectable viral load on antiretrovirall treatment with no … More

US: HIV Medicine Association calls for repeal of HIV-specific laws

October 26, 2012

The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has issued a strong statement urging the repeal of HIV criminalisation statutes in the United States. The HIVMA statement, which represents physicians, scientists and other health care … More

Evidence: Claims that phylogenetic analysis can prove direction of transmission are unfounded, say experts

November 26, 2010

I’m reproducing this news article I wrote for aidsmap.com in case anyone hasn’t seen it, because it is a really important issue.  Claiming that phylogenetic analysis is so reliable as to be able to ‘prove’ who infected who in a … More

Ireland: Police HIV risk “as likely as being struck by asteroid”; compensation slashed

July 13, 2010

The risk faced by Irish police of occupational exposure to HIV and other blood-borne infections is “as likely as being struck by an asteroid,” according to expert testimony during a test compensation case conducted by Ms Justice Mary Irvine in … More

UPDATE – Canada: Gay man acquitted of HIV exposure in Vancouver, risk not significant enough for liability

May 12, 2010

Update: May 12th Yesterday, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network issued a press statement on the case, available here. The reasons for judgment in the case (R. v. J.A.T., 2010 BCSC 766) were made public on June 2nd. Today, aidsmap.com published … More

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