Edwin J Bernard of the HIV Justice Network.
© IAS/Ryan Rayburn - Commercialimage.net
Draconian laws on HIV transmission and exposure were the focus of a session at the International AIDS Conference.
Delegates heard that courts often dismissed evidence regarding the excellent prognosis of patients on HIV therapy and the impact of HIV treatment on the risk of transmission.
People with HIV are being imprisoned after sexual encounters when they did not disclose their status, even when no transmission occurred. In some instances, people had been prosecuted even though the type of sex they had engaged in involved no actual risk of HIV transmission.
More encouragingly, the session was also told that lobbying could lead to changes in the law.
For instance, Denmark suspended its tough HIV-specific laws after being presented with scientific evidence about the life expectancy of people on effective HIV therapy and the impact of treatment as prevention.