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Read Now: TheBodyPRO.com Covers AIDS 2014
  
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Spotlight Series
HIV Is Not a Crime: HIV Criminalization

ABOUT THIS SERIES: More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, the general public, as well as those who write laws, remains remarkably uninformed about the nature of HIV. This misinformation, combined with rampant HIV stigma, has created a landscape in the U.S. and in many other countries where laws regarding HIV transmission are based on HIV myths and stigma rather than cogent scientific fact. Laws that seek to criminalize HIV status desperately need to be modernized. Inspired by the very first HIV criminalization conference -- HIV Is Not a Crime in Grinnell, Iowa, from June 2-5, 2014 -- known as the "Grinnell gathering," TheBody.com's HIV Criminalization Spotlight Series will aim to show the faces of those affected by criminalization, report on the progress of anti-criminalization activists nationwide and abroad and dispel the stigma around HIV.

"We call upon those charged with enforcing such laws -- from governors to prosecutors to police detectives -- to halt the criminal prosecution and resulting persecution of any individual based on HIV status."
July 17, 2014
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A legal scholar warns that HIV laws and their use could show that discriminatory myths about race, gender and sexuality can influence perceptions of whether, when and why HIV is a crime.
July 16, 2014
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Advocates laud the guidance, which rebuts unsupported assumptions, explains how the laws impact stigma and details current scientific knowledge and medical developments that support the need for reform.
July 15, 2014
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HIV criminalization laws of course affect anyone living with HIV. But, who do people at the HIV Is Not a Crime Conference think is most at risk for prosecution under these laws and statutes? We spoke to a few conference attendees about how injustice plays out in the real world.
June 26, 2014
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The community response to eradicate HIV Criminalization has been steadily growing over the past five years. These efforts culminated earlier this month at the HIV Is Not A Crime: National Conference on HIV Criminalization. While Visual AIDS was not able to attend, activist and nature lover Samuel James Pottebaum was there.
June 24, 2014
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On June 13, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court set aside the conviction of Nick Rhoades, an HIV-positive Iowan who was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison, with required registration as a sex offender, after having a one-time sexual encounter with another man during which they used a condom.
June 13, 2014
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By Barbara Jungwirth
Tips on how to handle interactions with law enforcement, and more, from a group led by people living with HIV.
June 13, 2014
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Medical students worked with HIV advocates to urge the largest association of doctors in the U.S. to take a clear and public stand against HIV criminalization.
June 10, 2014
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By Mathew Rodriguez
From Schoolhouse Rock! to elevator pitches, advocates at HIV Is Not a Crime learned strategies for winning over elected officials to HIV criminalization reform.
June 10, 2014
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Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Esq., the legal director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, shares some of the conversations and themes from the 2014 HIV Is Not a Crime conference.
June 6, 2014
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According to Sean Strub of Sero, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy cut off Nick Rhoades' and Donald Bogardus's ankle monitoring bracelets at HIV Is Not A Crime. Now that the HIV criminalization law has changed in Iowa, they are no longer considered sex offenders. (Video courtesy of Sean Strub.)
June 5, 2014
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By Mathew Rodriguez
Don't know how to advocate for those living with HIV who face criminalization statutes? Here are some talking points, raised by participants at a national conference.
June 5, 2014
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By Dr. Wendy Armstrong
Wendy Armstrong, M.D., F.I.D.S.A., gives a personal account on how she felt after being called to testify in a criminal court regarding one of her patient's HIV status.
June 4, 2014
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By Mathew Rodriguez
Organized by The Sero Project, a network focused on HIV criminalization reform, the conference has been endorsed by dozens of AIDS service organizations, advocacy groups and media outlets (including TheBody.com).
June 3, 2014
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By Mathew Rodriguez
Two HIV-positive women who faced prosecution under HIV criminalization statutes focused on criminalization's effects on women at the HIV Is Not a Crime Conference.
June 3, 2014
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By Julie "JD" Davids
Many states across the U.S. have retained HIV criminalization laws that fly in the face of what's known about HIV transmission, according to recent reports.
May 30, 2014
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Advocacy group The Sero Project hails the move, which makes Iowa the first of 34 U.S. states and territories with HIV-specific criminal laws to repeal its statute.
May 30, 2014
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