March 24, 2011
The National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) is voicing its opposition to the HIV-specific criminal laws on the books in 34 states and two US territories.
"HIV criminalization has often resulted in egregious human rights violations, including harsh sentencing for behaviors that pose little to no risk of HIV transmission," said a statement by NASTAD, which is composed of top state and territory public health officials who are tasked with addressing the epidemic.
NASTAD said that as a member of the Positive Justice Project, initiated by the Center for HIV Law & Policy (CHLP), it is committed to the following:
NASTAD's members "are the public health professionals who are close to the epidemic, and they know first-hand how powerfully stigma drives HIV transmission, and they recognize how HIV criminalization drives stigma," said Sean Strub, the founding publisher of POZ magazine and senior fellow at CHLP. "Their statement will send a powerful message to legislators, prosecutors and others who, whether out of ignorance, fear, ambition or vengeance, promote HIV criminalization."
To view the full statement, visit www.nastad.org/Docs/highlight/2011311_NASTAD%20Statement%20on%20Criminalization%20-%20Final.pdf.