USA: New report from Williams Institute shows HIV-related arrests in Louisiana are disproportionately based on race

Black men account for 91% of HIV-related arrests in Louisiana

A new data interactive looks at the impact of HIV criminal laws on people living with HIV in nine states, including Louisiana

Since 2011, as many as 176 people have had contact with Louisiana’s criminal legal system because of allegations of HIV crimes, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. HIV-related crimes are disproportionately enforced based on race and sex. In Louisiana, Black men represent 15% of the state population and 44% of people living with HIV, but 91% of those arrested for an HIV crime.

Using data obtained from the Louisiana Incident-Based Reporting System and from the state’s most populous parishes, researchers found that enforcement of HIV crimes is concentrated in East Baton Rouge Parish, Orleans Parish, and Calcasieu Parish. Furthermore, the number of HIV incidents—or interactions with law enforcement involving allegations of HIV crimes—is not declining over time.

HIV criminalization is a term used to describe laws that either criminalize otherwise legal conduct or increase the penalties for illegal conduct based upon a person’s HIV-positive status. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states and territories currently have laws that criminalize people living with HIV.

A new data interactive looks at the impact of HIV criminal laws on people living with HIV in nine states, including Louisiana.

Louisiana has one criminal law related to HIV, which makes it a felony for a person who knows of their HIV-positive status to intentionally expose another person to HIV through sexual contact or other means without consent. The maximum sentence for an intentional exposure conviction is 10 years, and people convicted of an HIV crime are required to register on the state’s sex offender registry for at least 15 years.

Louisiana’s HIV criminal law does not require actual transmission, intent to transmit, or even the possibility of transmission to sustain a conviction. Between 2011 and 2022, incarceration for HIV crimes cost Louisiana at least $6.5 million.

“The cost of Louisiana’s HIV criminal law is likely much higher. Even with only partial access to the state’s criminal enforcement data, the trends were dramatic,” said lead author Nathan Cisneros, HIV Criminalization Analyst at the Williams Institute. “Louisiana’s HIV criminal law may undermine the state’s public health efforts by deterring the communities most impacted by HIV, including people of color and sex workers, from seeking testing and treatment.”


  • Most HIV criminal incidents (80%) in Louisiana involved only allegations of an HIV-related crime; no other crimes were alleged in the incidents.
  • Black people—and especially Black men—were the majority of people identified as suspects and arrested for HIV-related crimes in Louisiana.
    • Across the state, 63% of suspects were Black and 45% were Black men. For incidents that resulted in arrest, all of those arrested were Black and 91% were Black men.
    • In New Orleans, close to 80% of all suspects were identified as Black and 58% were Black men.
  • Black people and women were overrepresented among victims of HIV-related incidents.
    • Across the state, Black women and white women each represented 28% of all victims.
    • In New Orleans, Black men were 58% of all victims.
  • Since 1998, there have been at least 47 separate HIV-related convictions resulting in sex offender registration, involving 43 people.
  • Most people (63%) on the sex offender registry because of an HIV-related conviction are on the registry only because of the HIV-related conviction.
  • Three-quarters of people on the sex offender registry for an HIV-related conviction were Black.
  • Guilty outcomes resulted in an average sentence of 4.3 years.
  • Incarcerating people for HIV-related charges has cost Louisiana at least $6.5 million.

This report is part of a series of reports examining the ongoing impact of state HIV criminalization laws on people living with HIV. Take a look at our new data interactive summarizing the findings of our research.

Read the report

Uzbekistan: Draft law on compulsory HIV testing introduces notion of “dangerous group” and “potential HIV carriers”

Uzbekistan will forcibly test sex workers and MSM for HIV

Translated via For article in Russian, please scroll down.

A draft law on compulsory HIV testing of sex workers, men who have sex with men and drug users is under discussion in Uzbekistan. They would reportedly be detected during “special preventive operations”. The author of the project is the country’s Interior Ministry, reported.

It is planned that the procedure will take effect on 1 January 2023, and the discussion will last until 10 September 2022.

The document introduced the notion of a “dangerous group” – “potential HIV carriers”, i.e., those who need to be tested. This includes sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men and those who are only suspected. That is, everyone who has been in contact with a “dangerous group” as well as people who are “suspected of having such an affair” will be screened.

They will be identified through a process of special investigative measures, the mechanism of which is not specified. There is a suggestion that the decision on the medical examination will be made by internal affairs officers.

As a reminder, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the last countries in Central Asia to criminalise same-sex contacts.

Earlier, we wrote that Singapore (Southeast Asia) had repealed the law criminalising consensual sex between men, which had been in force since 1938.

В Узбекистане будут принудительно тестировать на ВИЧ секс-работниц и МСМ

В Узбекистане обсуждается проект о принудительном тестировании на ВИЧ секс-работниц, мужчин, практикующих секс с мужчинами, и наркопотребителей. Сообщается, что выявлять их будут во время «специальных оперативно-профилактических мероприятий». Автором проекта является Министерство внутренних дел страны, сообщает «Газета.uz».

Планируется, что данный порядок вступит в силу с 1 января 2023 года, а обсуждение продлится до 10 сентября 2022 года.

В документе появилось понятие «опасная группа» — это «потенциальные носители ВИЧ», то есть те, кому нужно провести тестирование. Сюда входят работники секс-бизнеса, наркопотребители, мужчины, практикующие секс с мужчинами, а также те, кто только подозревается. То есть обследование будут проводить всем, кто контактировал с «опасной группой», а также людям, которые «подозревается в подобных связях».

Вычислять их будут в процессе специальных розыскных мероприятий, механизм которых не прописан. Есть предположение, что решение о медицинском обследовании будут принимать сотрудники отдела внутренних дел.

Напомним, что Узбекистан и Туркменистан являются последними странами в Центральной Азии, где существует уголовная ответственность за однополые контакты.

Ранее мы писали о том, что в Сингапуре (Юго-Восточная Азия) отменили закон, криминализирующий сексуальные отношения между мужчинами по обоюдному согласию, который действовал с 1938 года.


Why people living with HIV should not be criminalised for donating blood

Preventing the transmission of blood-borne infection by imposing limitations on the donation of blood is an important and legitimate public health objective.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, certain groups – including, but not limited to, gay men and other men who have sex with men – have been subjected to restrictions on their ability to give blood.

Sustained advocacy by gay rights organisations in many high-income countries has focused on the discriminatory nature of these so-called ‘gay blood bans’, highlighting significant advances in blood screening capabilities. This has led to a general softening of restrictions on blood donations for gay men in many of these countries – allowing donations with ‘deferral periods’, or allowing donations based on individual risk assessments.

However, this advocacy has generally not translated into the removal of HIV-specific criminal laws for donating blood, nor has there been a call for a moratorium on singling out people living with HIV for donating blood using non-HIV-specific general criminal laws – even though many of the same public health and human rights arguments apply to both the so-called ‘gay blood bans’ and to HIV criminalisation more generally.

That is why today, the HIV Justice Network has published Bad Blood: Criminalisation of Blood Donations by People Living with HIV. The report was written by Elliot Hatt and edited by Edwin J Bernard, based on research undertaken by Sylvie Beaumont, with additional input provided by Sarai Chisala-Tempelhoff and Paul Kidd (HIV Justice Network’s Supervisory Board); Sean Strub (Sero Project) and Robert James (University of Sussex).

We found that 37 jurisdictions in 22 countries maintain laws that criminalise people with HIV for donating blood. Notably, 15 jurisdictions in the United States (US) have laws which specifically criminalise blood donations by people living with HIV, while four US states – California, Illinois, Iowa, and Virginia – have repealed laws which previously criminalised this conduct.

Although prosecutions are relatively rare, we are aware of at least 20 cases relating to blood donation since 1987. Half of these cases have been reported in Singapore, including two as recently as 2021.

We argue that the criminalisation of blood donations by people with HIV is a disproportionate measure – even if the aim of protecting public health through the prevention of transfusion-transmitted infection is legitimate – and is the result of both HIV-related stigma and homophobia. It is not supported by science.

There is no good reason for any country or jurisdiction to have HIV-specific criminal laws – whether they focus on blood donation or on sexual exposure or transmission. HIV-specific criminal laws are discriminatory and stigmatising, especially since people with other serious blood borne infections – including hepatitis B and C and syphilis – are not singled out with specific laws, nor for prosecution under general criminal laws.

Blood donation criminal laws focused on HIV should be repealed, prosecutions based on general laws should end, and instead science-informed measures – such as individual donor risk assessments and universal blood screening – should be relied on to protect the public against transfusion-transmitted infection.

Read the report at:

United Nations Development Program continues to advocate for the global decriminalization of HIV

Decriminalization of HIV is ‘Scientifically Proven and Morally Correct’

Across the globe, one hundred and thirty-four countries are criminalized or prosecuted due to criminal laws against HIV transmission, non-disclosure and exposure. Lower rates of HIV treatment and viral suppression are present and more likely in those countries that criminalize the virus. In a recent article by Mandeep Dhaliwal, director of the HIV and Health Group for the United Nations Development Program, states that the decriminalization of HIV is “scientifically proven and morally correct.”

Laws that target people living with HIV hinder the progress of the United Nations’ political declaration to ends AIDS by 2030, which is supported by 165 countries.

Dhaliwal explains that criminalization is constructively harmful, cost lives, and wastes money. HIV criminalization targets fixed populations that include sex workers, men that have sex with men, transgender people, needle users and their partners, and other marginalized groups. In 2021, these groups, combined, accounted for 70 percent of new HIV cases.

In order to reach the goal to end HIV as a public health threat, the idea to achieve “10-10-10.” The 10-10-10 initiative is a set of targets that encourages countries to repeal punitive laws and policies in conflict with ending stigma, discrimination, and gender-based violence.

Specifically the targets would need to achieve: “less than 10 percent of people living with HIV and key populations experiencing stigma and discrimination; less than 10 percent of people living with HIV, women and girls, and key populations experiencing gender-based inequalities and gender-based violence; and less than 10 percent of countries with legal and policy environments that deny or limit access to HIV services.”

Dhaliwal also helped assemble the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, which works to help countries and their communities end discriminatory laws that wrongfully punish people, perpetuate illness and poverty, and prevent the progress of ending HIV.

Mexico: 30 states retain the crime of “danger of contagion” in their local penal codes

Danger of contagion’, the offence punishable in 30 states and organisations call for repeal to avoid stigmatisation

Automated translation via – For article in Spanish please scroll down.

In Mexico, with the exception of Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí, 30 states retain the crime of “danger of contagion” in their local penal codes, a remnant from decades ago that only contributes to the stigmatisation and persecution of people living with HIV.

Coahuila and Tamaulipas provide penalties for “whoever transmits AIDS” in particular, but seven other states – Baja California, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Puebla, Veracruz, Sonora, Yucatan and Nayarit – directly criminalise those who have a sexually transmitted infection and engage in conduct that could be considered “dangerous” to the health of another person.

Zacatecas and Nayarit also penalise a woman with a disease or syphilis who breastfeeds a baby.

In 17 states, criminal penalties imposed on a person for allegedly transmitting a disease can be aggravated by up to several years in prison, according to the study “La legislación mexicana en materia de VIH y sida. Its impact on people living with HIV”, carried out by the Mexican Network of Organisations against the Criminalisation of HIV.

Danger of infection, a crime that contributes to discrimination

The civil codes of Baja California Sur, Guerrero and Baja California specify that people living with HIV are prohibited from marrying.

In 20 states, a person with a chronic or incurable disease cannot be granted guardianship of a minor. Furthermore, in 19 states, a medical certificate stating that one does not have an illness is required as a condition of marriage.

These restrictions make it possible to “undermine some of the rights of people living with HIV,” the document warns.

In contrast, to guarantee the right to non-discrimination of people living with HIV, only 14 states consider HIV testing without consent or as a requirement for employment to be discriminatory.

Only 12 states identify stigmatising or violating the rights of people living with HIV as a discriminatory action, and only two states have passed and maintain HIV-specific laws.

“To begin with, the crime of contagion is a crime that is based on an assumption; it is not a crime that is scientifically verifiable, because there are not enough tools to be able to determine who did or did not transmit a virus to another person,” explains Leonardo Bastida, one of the authors of the analysis, in an interview.

Bastida says that there is still a lot of stigmatisation towards those living with HIV or who have a virus-related illness, as in the case of COVID-19.

“This causes people to be afraid of the situation, that they are not interested in getting diagnosed in order to avoid problems, because in a certain way, seeing this as something bad, does not generate a sense of responsibility, of personal and collective care.

At the same time, it also inhibits the generation of public health policies that should be focused on reducing the number of new infections; it also sends a message of negativity, guilt and punishment, when with the scientific advances that exist to date, the majority of people living with HIV can achieve undetectability and, therefore, non-transmissibility of the virus.

“There are codes that are very specific, that if the disease is contagious or puts people’s lives in danger; many adjectives are used that do not correspond to reality, so this image is given of associating it with something bad and that the person living with HIV, by that simple fact, is a risk factor, when in reality the risk factors are others; it generates a contradictory and somewhat ambiguous message for society,” adds Bastida.

Most of the articles in penal codes that punish the crime of “danger of contagion” came into force between 1920 and 1930, that is, they are almost 100 years old. Since 2015, attempts have been made to reform these articles, not to eliminate them, but to establish stronger sentences.

In at least seven states, cases have been prosecuted on the basis of this crime: 15 in Veracruz, 14 in Sonora, five in Tamaulipas, four in the State of Mexico, three in Chihuahua, one in Nuevo León and one in Mexico City.

“The prosecutors’ offices, seeing it in force in the law, insist on taking it up again; and often the argument is that the transmission is on purpose, a situation that cannot be ruled out, but for that there are already crimes of injury in the penal codes themselves, so a transmission with malice aforethought could be included in those terms. It is clearer than leaving an ambiguous offence, which is also only based on assumptions,” Bastida explains.

The danger lies in the fact that by accusing someone of the crime, if that person tests reactive, it is enough to prosecute them, when the only thing that is being checked is their state of health, but not whether or not they transmitted HIV.

“It is important to understand that what we are sanctioning is a belief, a hypothesis, but we are not sanctioning concrete facts,” he adds.

Promoting work with local legislatures

Antonio Matus, from the organisation AHF, maintains that the general tendency at the moment is to penalise, to punish for everything and to increase the number of crimes, so that when a criminal offence is eliminated there may be a general perception that there is injustice, which could explain the resistance in the legislative sphere to repeal this offence.

The group is currently working on legislative advocacy to present initiatives in Oaxaca, Veracruz and Guanajuato.

“Other countries have already made progress in this regard, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS itself has issued several bulletins, in which, when such provisions have been repealed, UNAIDS has publicly acknowledged these actions. One of the most recent cases is in Colombia, where it issued a press statement welcoming the Colombian constitutional court’s decision to repeal the section of the penal code that criminalises HIV transmission,” Matus explained.

Having the legislative analysis in a document is very important because it makes recommendations to both state legislatures and the Congress of the Union to repeal criminal and civil provisions that stigmatize people with HIV.

Similarly, the federal Ministry of Health and CENSIDA are recommended to update NOM-010-SSA2-2010 on HIV prevention and control, which is more than 10 years old. Within it, there could be a provision that avoids criminalisation at the federal level, as it is mandatory.

On 30 April 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation set a first precedent against the criminalisation of HIV, when it declared invalid the portion of Article 158 of the criminal code of Veracruz, which punishes the crime of danger of contagion, which specifically referred to “sexually transmitted or other infections”.

This ruling followed an action of unconstitutionality brought by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) over the legislative reform that added the explicit reference to HIV, sexually transmitted infections and others.

For the state of Nuevo León, an appeal, also promoted by the CNDH, against Article 337 bis, reformed in the context of the pandemic by COVID-19, is still pending.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, an initiative to repeal the crime of danger of contagion has been presented three times before the local congress without success.

This follows demonstrations and complaints from civil society organisations after the Mexico City District Attorney’s Office publicised the arrest of a man living with HIV for the crime of endangering contagion on 4 June 2021. He was later released on the basis of an injunction.

The Mexico City Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination established that the criminalisation of danger of contagion fosters a narrative of violence and discrimination, and that the criminal offence represents a repressive vision of sexuality, advancing a punishment for mere danger based on prejudice, which obeys a criminal law alien to the paradigm of human rights and contrary to the principle of dignity.

For Matus, there are all the legal and public policy elements to repeal the crime. Otherwise, if it is transferred to other types of diseases, this type of criminal offence would cause people not to get tested, hide their diagnosis and fear being punished.

The activist argues that this, on a public health level, affects all people, not just those living with HIV.

These kinds of provisions, which may have the good intention of preventing transmission, ignore advances in science, as antiretroviral treatment currently increases defences in such a way that the viral load is reduced to undetectability, a state in which the virus is no longer transmitted.

“Without wishing to point fingers or criminalise people who consider themselves victims of this type of crime, we believe that the option for our society is co-responsibility, that everyone knows, is educated, receives information and is aware of what can happen when having unprotected sex,” he concludes.

‘Peligro de contagio’, el delito que se castiga en 30 estados y organizaciones piden derogarlo para evitar estigmatización

En México, a excepción de Aguascalientes y San Luis Potosí, 30 entidades conservan la tipificación del delito de “peligro de contagio” en sus códigos penales locales, un remanente de hace décadas que solo contribuye a estigmatizar y perseguir a las personas que viven con VIH.

En Coahuila y Tamaulipas se prevén sanciones para “quien transmita el SIDA” en particular, pero otros siete estados –Baja California, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Puebla, Veracruz, Sonora, Yucatán y Nayarit– penalizan directamente a quienes padezcan una infección de transmisión sexual y tengan conductas susceptibles de considerarse “peligrosas” para la salud de otra persona.

Zacatecas y Nayarit sancionan, además, a la mujer que con alguna enfermedad o sífilis amamante a un bebé.

En 17 estados, las sanciones penales impuestas a una persona por la presunta transmisión de una enfermedad pueden agravarse hasta con varios años de cárcel, según el estudio “La legislación mexicana en materia de VIH y sida. Su impacto en las personas viviendo con VIH”, realizado por la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones contra la Criminalización del VIH.

Peligro de contagio, delito que contribuye a la discriminación

Los códigos civiles de Baja California Sur, Guerrero y Baja California especifican la prohibición de casarse a quienes viven con VIH.

En 20 estados, a una persona con una enfermedad crónica o incurable no puede otorgársele la tutela de un menor. Por otro lado, en 19 estados es obligatorio presentar un certificado médico que especifique que no se padece alguna enfermedad como condición para casarse.

Estas restricciones posibilitan “menoscabar algunos de los derechos de las personas que viven con VIH”, advierte el documento.

En contraste, para garantizar el derecho a la no discriminación de las personas con VIH, solo 14 entidades federativas consideran como discriminatoria la aplicación de pruebas de VIH sin consentimiento o como exigencia para conseguir trabajo.

Solo 12 entidades señalan como acción discriminatoria estigmatizar o vulnerar los derechos de las personas que viven con VIH y únicamente en dos entidades han sido aprobadas y se mantienen vigentes leyes específicas en materia de VIH.

“Para empezar, el delito de contagio es un delito que está sobre un supuesto; no es un delito que sea comprobable científicamente, porque no existen las herramientas suficientes para poder determinar quién transmitió o no a otra persona un virus”, explica en entrevista Leonardo Bastida, uno de los autores del análisis.

Bastida afirma que todavía existe mucha estigmatización hacia quienes viven con VIH o tiene alguna enfermedad relacionada con un virus, como es el caso del COVID-19.

“Esto genera que la gente tenga miedo a la situación, que no le interese diagnosticarse para evitarse problemas, porque de cierta manera al ver esto como algo malo, no se genera una conducta de responsabilidad, de un cuidado personal y colectivo”.

Al mismo tiempo, se inhibe también la generación de políticas de salud pública que deberían estar enfocadas en disminuir el número de nuevas infecciones; además se manda un mensaje de negatividad, culpabilidad y castigo, cuando con los avances científicos que existen hasta ahora, la mayoría de las personas que viven con VIH puede alcanzar la indetectabilidad y, por lo tanto, intransmisibilidad del virus.

“Hay códigos que son muy específicos, que si la enfermedad es contagiosa o pone en peligro la vida de las personas; se le ponen muchos adjetivos que no corresponden a una realidad, entonces se da esta imagen de asociarlo con algo malo y que la persona que vive con VIH, por ese simple hecho, es un factor de riesgo, cuando en realidad los factores de riesgo son otros; genera un mensaje contradictorio y un poco ambiguo para la sociedad”, añade Bastida.

La mayoría de los artículos en códigos penales que sancionan el delito de “peligro de contagio” entraron en vigor entre 1920 y 1930, es decir, tienen casi 100 años de existir.

En al menos siete estados, los casos han llegado a procesos judiciales a partir de la imputación de este delito: 15 en Veracruz, 14 en Sonora, cinco en Tamaulipas, cuatro en el Estado de México, tres en Chihuahua, uno en Nuevo León y uno en Ciudad de México.

“Las fiscalías, al verlo vigente en la ley, insisten en retomarlo; y muchas veces el argumento es que la transmisión es a propósito, situación que no puede descartarse, pero para eso ya existen dentro de los propios códigos penales los delitos de lesiones, entonces podría entrar una transmisión con alevosía en esos términos. Es más claro que dejar un delito ambiguo, que además solo se basa en presuposiciones”, detalla Bastida.

El peligro radica en que con el hecho de acusar a alguien del delito, si esa persona resulta reactiva en una prueba, es suficiente para procesarla judicialmente, cuando lo único que se está comprobando es su estado de salud, pero no si transmitió o no el VIH.

“Se está sancionando una suposición; y es importante entender que lo que estamos sancionando es una creencia, una hipótesis, pero no se están sancionando hechos concretos”, añade.

Impulsan trabajo con legislaturas locales

Antonio Matus, de la organización AHF, sostiene que la tendencia general en este momento es a penalizar, a sancionar por todo y a incrementar el número de delitos, por lo que cuando se elimina un tipo penal puede existir una percepción general de que hay injusticias, lo que podría explicar las resistencias en el ámbito legislativo para derogar este delito.

Actualmente la agrupación está trabajando en la incidencia legislativa para presentar iniciativas en Oaxaca, Veracruz y Guanajuato.

“Otros países ya han avanzado en este aspecto, y el propio programa conjunto de las Naciones Unidas para el VIH y el SIDA ha emitido varios boletines; en ellos, cuando se han derogado este tipo de disposiciones, ONUSIDA ha reconocido de manera pública estas acciones. Uno de los casos más recientes es en Colombia, en donde emitió una declaración de prensa donde agradece la decisión del tribunal constitucional de Colombia de revocar la sección del código penal que criminaliza la transmisión del VIH”, explicó Matus.

Haber concretado el análisis legislativo en un documento es muy importante porque se hacen recomendaciones tanto a las legislaturas estatales como al Congreso de la Unión para derogar las disposiciones penales y civiles que estigmatizan a las personas con VIH.

Del mismo modo, a la Secretaría de Salud federal y a CENSIDA se les recomienda que actualicen la NOM-010-SSA2-2010, en materia de prevención y control del VIH, que tiene más de 10 años. Dentro de ella, podría existir una previsión que evitara la criminalización con alcance a nivel federal, pues es de observancia obligatoria.

El 30 de abril de 2018, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación sentó un primer precedente contra la criminalización del VIH, cuando declaró inválida la porción del artículo 158 del código penal de Veracruz, que sanciona el delito de peligro de contagio, que refería específicamente a “infecciones de transmisión sexual u otras”.

Esa resolución se dio a partir de una acción de inconstitucionalidad promovida por la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) por la reforma legislativa que agregaba la referencia explícita al VIH, las infecciones de transmisión sexual y otras.

Para el estado de Nuevo León, aún está pendiente de resolución un recurso, promovido también por la CNDH, contra el artículo 337 bis, reformado en el contexto de la pandemia por COVID-19

En tanto, en la Ciudad de México, una iniciativa para derogar el delito peligro de contagio ha sido presentada tres veces ante el congreso local sin éxito.

Esto a partir de las manifestaciones y reclamos de organizaciones de la sociedad civil tras la difusión por parte de la Fiscalía capitalina de la detención de un hombre que vivía con VIH por el delito peligro de contagio el 4 de junio de 2021. Más tarde, fue liberado gracias a un amparo.

El Consejo para prevenir y eliminar la discriminación de la Ciudad de México estableció que la tipificación del peligro de contagio fomenta una narrativa de violencia y discriminación, y que el tipo penal representa una visión represora de la sexualidad, adelantando un castigo por el mero peligro con base en un prejuicio, lo cual obedece a un derecho penal ajeno al paradigma de los derechos humanos y contrario al principio de dignidad.

Para Matus, existen todos los elementos jurídicos y de política pública para derogar el delito. De lo contrario, si se traslada a otro tipo de enfermedades, este tipo de penal provocaría que la gente no se haga pruebas, oculte su diagnóstico y tema ser sancionado.

El activista sostiene que esto a nivel de salud pública, afecta a todas las personas, no solamente a quienes viven con VIH.

Este tipo de disposiciones, que quizá tengan la buena intención de evitar la trasmisión, ignoran los avances de la ciencia, pues el tratamiento antirretroviral en este momento aumenta las defensas de tal manera que la carga viral se reduce hasta la indetectabilidad, un estado en el que ya no se transmite el virus.

“Sin ánimo de señalar o criminalizar a las personas que se consideran víctimas de este tipo de delitos, consideramos que la opción para nuestra sociedad es la corresponsabilidad, que cada quien sepa, esté educado, reciba información y tome conciencia de qué puede pasar al momento de tener relaciones sexuales no protegidas”, concluye.

Canada: Ignoring request to wear condom violates consent and constitutes sexual assault

Breaking Agreement to Use a Condom Is a Sex Crime, Canada High Court Rules

The Supreme Court ruling is one of the strictest in a recent spate of measures addressing deceptive condom use, as courts try to define consent.

TORONTO — It is a crime to renege on a promise to wear a condom during sex without a partner’s knowledge or consent, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled this week.

The decision sends a British Columbia man back to trial for sexual assault, and sets legal precedent in Canada, further clarifying the law governing sexual consent in a country that has been raising the bar for it for decades.

“In no other jurisdiction in the world is it as clear that when someone has agreed to sex with a condom, and removed it without their consent, this constitutes sexual assault or rape,” said Lise Gotell, professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Alberta, and an expert on sexual consent and Canadian law.

“The court says very clearly there is no consent in that circumstance — it doesn’t matter whether or not the non-consensual condom removal was overt, or if it was deceptive,” she added.

The case in question involves two people who interacted online in 2017, met in person to see if they were sexually compatible, and then met to have sex. The woman, whose name was shielded by a publication ban, had predicated her agreement to sex on the use of a condom. During one of two sexual encounters at that meeting, the accused man didn’t wear a condom, unknown to the woman, who later took preventive H.I.V. treatment.

The defendant, Ross McKenzie Kirkpatrick, was charged with sexual assault. However, the trial court judge dismissed the charge, accepting Mr. Kirkpatrick’s argument that the complainant had consented to the sexual relations, despite Mr. Kirkpatrick’s failure to wear a condom.

The ruling was overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeal, which ordered a new trial. Mr. Kirkpatrick appealed that decision to the country’s top court, which heard arguments last November.

“Sexual intercourse without a condom is a fundamentally and qualitatively different physical act than sexual intercourse with a condom,” states the ruling, which was approved by a 5-4 vote by the court, and was released on Friday.

It adds, “Condom use cannot be irrelevant, secondary or incidental when the complainant has expressly conditioned her consent on it.”

Mr. Kirkpatrick’s lawyer said the new interpretation of the criminal code, which will be standard across the country, would drastically change the rules around sexual consent, making it almost like a binding contract that could be signed in advance.

“In Canada, consent is always in the moment. But what this decision does, it creates an element of consent far from the moment of sexual activity — in this case days or even a week before the sexual encounter,” said Phil Cote, a defense lawyer in Surrey, British Columbia.

“If there’s a moral to be taken from this for everyone, but particularly for men, is that you have to be sure there is active and engaged consent. And if you are not sure, you should ask,” he added. “But unfortunately, that’s not how sexual encounters go.”

Some studies show condom-use resistance has become widespread over the past decade, and significant numbers of women and men who have sex with men report having experienced partners removing condoms without their consent.

The practice, popularly known as “stealthing,” has become prevalent enough that some Canadian universities have incorporated it into their sexual violence prevention policies.

Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law which made stealthing illegal — a first in the United States. However, the law amended the state’s civil definition of sexual battery, offering victims grounds to sue their assailants for damages, but it didn’t alter the criminal code. Around the same time, the Legislative Assembly in the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, also passed new laws that define stealthing as an act of sexual assault.

Courts in Britain and Switzerland have convicted people of crimes for removing condoms during intercourse.

Canada has passed increasingly restrictive laws against sexual assault since 1983, when it amended its rape law by replacing rape with three criminal offenses that broaden the definition of sexual assault to include violent actions other than non-consensual penetration.

US: New study from the Williams Institute analyses data on HIV criminalization in Tennessee

Enforcement of HIV Criminalization in Tennessee

Tennessee’s two primary HIV criminalization laws—aggravated prostitution and criminal exposure—are considered a “violent sexual offense” and require a person convicted to register as a sex offender for life. Using data obtained from Tennessee’s sex offender registry, this study examines the enforcement of HIV criminalization laws in Tennessee from 1991 to 2022.

To read the full report, please go to:

El Salvador: Proposal to treat HIV and STI exposure as aggravating circumstance in cases of sexual assault

Automatic Google translation. For original article in Spanish, please scroll down.

Consciously transmitting diseases and drugging the victims should be an aggravating circumstance in crimes of rape, the Criminal Magistrate recommends to deputies

Judge Sandra Luz Chicas arrived this Friday at the Women’s Commission of the Assembly, to give her contributions for the amendment to Articles 158 and 162 of the Penal Code, proposed by the ruling party.

On March 8, within the framework of International Women’s Day, the New Ideas caucus presented a piece of correspondence containing a proposal to reform articles 158 and 162 of the Penal Code.

The objective of the initiative is to increase the sentence from 8 to 12 years in prison for rapists. Currently, the Penal Code punishes this crime with imprisonment from 6 to 10 years.

The motion of the Nuevas Ideas party contemplates aggravating circumstances that increase the penalty detailed in article 162 of the aforementioned regulations.

The pro-government deputies propose adding an aggravating circumstance when the violations are against older adults.

The modifications began to be studied within the Women’s Commission of the Assembly. In order to know her point of view, this Friday the presiding magistrate of the Criminal Chamber, Sandra Luz Chicas de Fuentes, was summoned.

At this point, the magistrate observed that the ruling party’s proposal does not take into account as a qualified aggravating circumstance, when the active subject of the crime, knowing that they have a contagious sexually transmitted disease or that they are carriers of AIDS or HIV, sexually assault a his victim.

“We have had many cases that at the time of the rape they have transmitted a venereal disease or AIDS or HIV, I do not see this as a qualified aggravating circumstance and many countries have it,” recommended Chicas de Fuentes.

Likewise, it specified that it has not been considered an aggravating circumstance when the aggressor intoxicates the person or the drug to facilitate the rape.

In addition, the magistrate observed that the typical behavior itself is not being touched. In this aspect, Chicas de Fuentes explained that there is rape if there is vice in consent, for example, she mentioned that there are cultural patterns that in some circumstances “re-victimize” the victim, wanting to make it appear that she was guilty of the rape.

“A person can be a sex worker, but if that person at the time of carnal access says no, and the (other) person continues, there is rape, care must be taken that there is no vice in consent,” he clarified.

Even, he said, someone can agree to have sex with another person, but suddenly regrets it and says no, they could even be naked, but if the other person continues, it is also rape.

Rape is also considered when the forced penetration occurs in one of the two cavities, be it the vagina or the anus, it is enough for it to be in one of them to constitute the crime, he added and said that in other countries a third is opened possibility, and it is the oral route.

He also spoke of other cases in which more than one person could participate in the act of rape.

“A person may be having carnal access with a woman, another holding her lower limbs and another the upper ones, even if they do not have carnal access, they are co-authors of the crime of rape,” he exemplified.

The magistrate was in favor of reforming the Penal Code, as she pointed out that sexual crimes occupy one of the first places in statistical data.

The president of the commission, Alexia Rivas, stated that within the aggravating circumstances, the fact that the victim becomes pregnant as a result of sexual assault could also be contemplated.

The magistrate gave a favorable opinion, because not only would the legal right of sexual freedom be violated, but it is “multi-offensive”, including the violation of other rights by forcing the victim to become a mother, a consequence that must be carried by all his life.

Despite the reforms, when looking at comparative law, according to information that Justice Chicas de Fuentes revealed in the commission, El Salvador would be one of the countries in the region with fewer years in prison for crimes of rape, only above from Guatemala.

Costa Rica applies a sentence of 10 to 16 years; in its article 156 of the Penal Code; Honduras between 9 to 13 years according to article 240 of the Penal Code; in Guatemala the sentence is from 5 to 8 years, stipulated in article 173 bis of the Penal Code; and in Mexico, there is a prison of 8 to 20 years, according to article 265 of the Federal Penal Code.

“In principle, I do support the reform proposal, but always inviting the issue of proportionality to be studied,” advocated the magistrate.

Transmitir enfermedades conscientemente y drogar a las víctimas debe ser agravante en delitos de violación, recomienda a diputados magistrada de lo Penal

La magistrada Sandra Luz Chicas llegó este viernes a la comisión de la Mujer de la Asamblea, a dar sus aportes para la enmienda a los Artículos 158 y 162 del Código Penal, propuesto por la  bancada oficialista.

El pasado 8 de marzo en el marco del Día Internacional de la Mujer, la bancada de Nuevas Ideas presentó una pieza de correspondencia conteniendo una propuesta para reformar los artículos 158 y 162 del Código Penal.

El objetivo de la iniciativa es incrementar la pena de entre 8 a 12 años de cárcel para los violadores. Actualmente, el Código Penal sanciona ese delito con prisión de 6 a 10 años.

La moción del partido Nuevas Ideas contempla agravantes que aumentan la pena detalladas en el artículo 162 de la normativa en mención.

Los diputados oficialistas proponen que se agregue una agravante cuando las violaciones sean en contra de personas adultas mayores.

Las modificaciones comenzaron a ser estudiadas en el seno de la Comisión de la Mujer de la Asamblea. Con el objetivo de conocer su punto de vista, este viernes fue citada la magistrada presidenta de la Sala de lo Penal, Sandra Luz Chicas de Fuentes.

En este punto, la magistrada observó que la propuesta del oficialismo no toma en cuenta como agravante cualificada, cuando el sujeto activo del delito, a sabiendas de que tiene una enfermedad contagiosa de transmisión sexual o que son portadores del SIDA o del VIH agreden sexualmente a su víctima.

“Hemos tenido muchos casos que al momento de la violación le han transmitido una enfermedad venérea o el SIDA o VIH, esta no la veo como una agravante cualificada y muchos países lo tienen”, recomendó Chicas de Fuentes.

Asimismo, especificó que no se ha considerado como agravante cuando el agresor embriaga a la persona o la droga para facilitar la violación sexual.

Además, la magistrada observó que no se está tocando la conducta típica en sí. En este aspecto Chicas de Fuentes detalló que hay violación si hay vicio en el consentimiento, por ejemplo, mencionó que hay patrones culturales que en algunas circunstancias “revictimizan” a la víctima, queriendo hacer ver que la culpable de la violación fue ella.

Cyprus: Decision to deport HIV positive student on the grounds of “carrying an infectious disease” is reversed

Deportation of HIV student halted after uproar

The civil registry and migration department on Saturday responded to being lambasted for ordering the deportation of a third-country student because he was HIV positive, saying they would be issuing him a residence permit under certain health conditions.

The Aids Solidarity Movement earlier in the day condemned the deportation order, labelling it an act of “severe discrimination” and calling for the reversal of the decision.

According to the statement, the student was informed by the civil registry and migration department on March 16 by letter that he would be deported on March 21 on the grounds of “carrying an infectious disease”.

The movement said that this decision completely ignored letters of support from both the Gregorios treatment centre and the Solidarity Movement itself, as well as the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, which state “that when a person living with HIV has an undetectable viral load, due to the effective medication they receive, they cannot transmit the virus, even through unprotected sex”.

“The student has access to medication from his country, does not burden the state in any way in relation to his antiretroviral treatment or medical supervision, and does not pose a risk to public health,” the statement added.

Moreover, with the student’s written consent, the movement sent his medical results, along with a note from Doctor Ioannis Demetriades, the head of the Gregorios Clinic and the head of the ministry of health’s HIV and Aids programme, to the migration department’s acting director, asking that the student be allowed to complete his studies.

“We denounce this serious discrimination based on the HIV status of an individual and demand the immediate change of the decision from all the competent bodies of the state that support human rights,” the statement concluded.

Later on Saturday a statement from the migration department said it would in the end be issuing the residence permit after receiving a confirmation from the competent medical services of the state that the student was not contagious.

The condition of the permit is that the student receive regular health checks at the Gregorios Clinic.

It added that it had only been following the law, which “prohibit entry into the country, or carry out deportations for those persons who are carriers or suffer from communicable or infectious diseases and which are a danger to public health”.

Russia: Court overturns decision of the Ministry of Justice to include NGO in “foreign agents” register for commenting on HIV criminalisation law

Court orders Ministry of Justice to remove “Humanitarian Action” charitable foundation from registry of “foreign agents”

St Petersburg City Court has ordered the Russian Ministry of Justice to remove the charitable foundation “Humanitarian Action” from the register of “foreign agents” NGOs. This was reported on the foundation’s Telegram channel.

“This is the first time in Russia that an NPO has been removed from the register under a court ruling without rejecting foreign funding,” the report said.

For now, the foundation remains on the register of “foreign agents” NGOs.

The St. Petersburg-based charity foundation Humanitarian Action works with drug users and people living with HIV. The organisation was declared a foreign agent in December 2020.

The Russian authorities decided that Humanitarian Action was engaged in “political activities”. Comments on amendments to the law “On the prevention of the spread of HIV infection in Russia” sent to the Ministry of Justice as part of an open public debate were cited as such.

According to OVDInfo, 220 non-profit organisations and unregistered public associations have been included in the register of “foreign agents” since 2012. Of these, 99 were removed from the list due to cessation of activities (liquidation or reorganisation), 40 due to cessation of foreign funding or political activities, five after a complaint about the unreasonableness or illegality of their inclusion in the register was satisfied, and one after property was returned to a foreign source.

Суд обязал Минюст исключить благотворительный фонд «Гуманитарное действие» из реестра «иноагентов»

Санкт-Петербургский городской суд обязал Минюст России исключить благотворительный фонд «Гуманитарное действие» из реестра НКО — «иностранных агентов». Об этом сообщили в телеграм-канале фонда.

«Это первое в России исключение НКО из реестра по судебному решению без отказа от иностранного финансирования», — говорится в сообщении.

Пока фонд остается в реестре НКО-«иноагентов».

Петербургский благотворительный фонд «Гуманитарное действие» работает с наркопотребителями и людьми с ВИЧ. Организацию объявили иностранным агентом в декабре 2020 года.

Российские власти решили, что «Гуманитарное действие» занимается «политической деятельностью». В качестве примера таковой, в частности, приводились комментарии о поправках в закон «О предупреждении распространения ВИЧ-инфекции в России», направленные в адрес Минюста в рамках открытых общественных обсуждений.

По данным «ОВД-Инфо», с 2012 года в реестр НКО-«иностранных агентов» включили 220 некоммерческих организаций и незарегистрированных общественных объединений. Из них 99 были исключены из списка в связи с прекращением деятельности (ликвидация или реорганизация), 40 — из-за прекращения иностранного финансирования или политической деятельности, пять — после удовлетворения жалобы на необоснованность или незаконность включения в реестр, одна — после возврата имущества иностранному источнику.