Media Pack

About Criminalize Hate, Not HIV

‘Criminalize Hate, Not HIV’ was launched as a campaign at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna in July 2010. The campaign is managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). As an organization focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF has been concerned with legal and policy matters that may restrict access to health services and impede the realization of the human right to health, such as the criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure.

‘Criminalize Hate, Not HIV’ is a campaign which seeks to inform people living with HIV, decision makers and communities around the world of the dangers of the criminalization approach. It also aims to serve as a resource for community activists who want to develop their own campaigns on this issue.

Find out more about criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure  in Fast Facts

About IPPF

IPPF is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. It has been a pioneer in integrating sexual and reproductive health services with HIV services in its programmes and clinics. IPPF is a global network of Member Associations, and works in over 170 countries - providing and campaigning for sexual and reproductive health care and rights. We employ over 300 people in our Central/Regional Offices and are one of the world's largest organisations: we have more service delivery points than McDonald's. We had 88.2 million visits in 2010 and served approximately 33 million clients

IPPF’s Position on Criminalization of HIV

Legislation that criminalizes the forward sexual transmission of HIV is now appearing in some countries.This can lead to people living with HIV being prosecuted for another person becoming HIV positive. Prosecuting people on the basis of their HIV status may serve an individual’s desire for justice, but it will have significant implications for public health.

Criminalizing HIV transmission will deepen stigma and discrimination, remove incentives to HIV testing (if an individual doesn’t know their status they cannot be prosecuted) as well as undermining trust in healthcare providers. Criminalizing HIV transmission also places the responsibility for HIV prevention solely with people living with HIV, whereas in reality HIV prevention is the equal responsibility of all and not just people living with HIV.  All these factors will hinder access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services.

Moves to criminalize HIV transmission are frequently intended to allow action in instances of rape and abuse. Although legal action is undoubtedly necessary in cases of violence like this, the legal instruments used should be based on rape or abuse and not on HIV status. IPPF opposes legislation that criminalizes HIV transmission, whether classified as reckless or intentional. Alternatives to the criminal law must be sought to resolve conflict in these instances.

Written Resources

Behind Bars’- a collection of interviews published online (and reproduced in the Real Stories pages on this site) which exposes how criminal laws on HIV transmission are affecting people’s working and private lives around the world.

Verdict on a Virus’ - a written guide to criminalization of HIV and the related health human rights and legal implications (available in English, French, and Russian)

The Criminalisation of HIV’- Fact sheet (available in English, French, and Spanish)

Media Resources

‘Criminalize Hate not HIV’ 

A two-minute film, showing the humanness of sex, of relationships and of HIV. The film looks at laws criminalizing HIV transmission and exposure, but also laws criminalizing practices associated with HIV transmission (drug use, sex work and sex between men).

‘Verdict on a Virus’

A documentary short providing commentary from a selection of experts about the criminalization of HIV transmission in England and Wales. It brings together a selection of policy makers, programmers, advocates, academics and people living with HIV to inform the public debate.

Visit ‘Build your own campaign’ to create customized resources


Paul Bell:

 Tel: +44 (0) 20 7939 8233 / +44 (0) 7799 335533

Fiona Salter

 Tel: +44 (0) 20 7939 8223

Download press releases, logos and spokesperson biographies below:

Fast facts about HIV criminalization
Successful campaigns from across the globe

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