Useful HIV Criminalization Resources From the Sero Project
June 13, 2014
The Sero Project website contains a variety of practical resources for HIV-positive people who may be confronted with accusations of criminal misconduct related to their status or who want to protect themselves from such accusations. The group, which is led by people living with HIV, seeks to end inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV for non-disclosure of their HIV status, potential or perceived HIV exposure or HIV transmission.
If you are already dealing with an accusation, the Protection Center provides information about how to handle an interaction with the police or a sheriff that is related to your HIV status. Sero Project recommends that you do not disclose your HIV status, provide bodily fluids or give permission for medical tests, sign any documents, or volunteer any information until you have consulted a lawyer. It also offers sources for finding such a lawyer, explains how to protect yourself against a sex partner's accusations of non-disclosure and discusses why you should not press charges against a former sex partner, even if you think he or she infected you with HIV.
Other helpful resources include brochures that summarize the information you need to know about HIV criminalization (in English and Spanish), annotated lists of organizations that work against HIV criminalization and links to relevant websites.
If you want to educate more people about HIV criminalization, Sero Project's 2011 film HIV Is Not a Crime, which tells the stories of three people who were prosecuted for HIV crimes, is a good tool. Resources for political activism include a summary of the 2013 REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act (H.R.1843) and the Sero Project's call to action on that bill.
Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.
Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.
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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
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