The right to privacy

Criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure does not recognize how difficult it can be for people living with HIV to disclose their HIV status. Telling someone that you are living with HIV can be very challenging and can mean giving away the power that a person has over their own privacy.

Criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure does not recognize the sensitivity of and obstacles to disclosure. When and how people choose to disclose their status is a very personal choice – it is not for any other individual, or the State, to force or expect disclosure.

If a person is under investigation for an HIV-related crime, their status becomes known to those conducting the investigation and often more publicly. The concept of confidentiality is often ignored and even if not prosecuted or convicted, disclosure about their HIV status is no longer in their own hands.

A human rights approach respects the right to privacy for all and protects any person from being forced or expected to disclose their HIV status by another individual or the State.

Fast facts about HIV criminalization
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