Paul Kidd ASHM 2018 Lecture: HIV, Consent and the Criminal Law (Australia, 2018)

What is the role of the criminal law in relation to HIV medicine? Medical practitioners and other health care workers provide testing, diagnosis, counsel and care – but the use of the criminal law to prosecute people with HIV means health professionals may also find themselves entangled in a criminal investigation. What should we tell patients about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to HIV transmission or exposure? Taking medical and legal notions of consent as its starting point, this presentation will explore the complex and problematic impacts of HIV criminalisation on medical practice and the lives of people living with HIV, discuss the unrealised potential for the criminal law to be a healing process, and provide some guidance for practitioners who need to balance their roles as health providers with the legalities of HIV transmission and exposure.

Paul Kidd is an activist, writer and commentator with a particular interest in LGBTI law reform and legal issues affecting people living with blood-borne viruses. He was the founding chair of the Victorian HIV Legal Working Group, is a past President of Living Positive Victoria, has served on the boards of the Victorian AIDS Council, Hepatitis Victoria and the Equality Project, and is a member of the Victorian Government LGBTI Justice Working Group. He holds an honours degree in law from La Trobe Law School and is currently a trainee lawyer with Fitzroy Legal Service.  Paul is currently a Supervisory Board member of the HIV Justice Network.