Criminalizing HIV: Well-intentioned legislation is paving the road to stigmatization and discrimination in Africa.
In Burundi, a willful transmitter of HIV can be tried for murder. In Benin, failure to disclose one’s health status to a sexual partner, regardless of whether a virus is actually transmitted, is illegal. In Togo, it’s unlawful for anyone—regardless of HIV status—to have sex without a condom.
These laws, which are increasingly common in Africa, are intended to stem the spread of HIV, writes social justice blogger Julie Turkewitz in The Indypendent, but the legislation has the opposite effect—it further stigmatizes carriers and discourages testing.
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we had a similar (case) law in Canada, after an HIV+ worker in the Ontario court system infected several co-workers. here, “justice” is one big orgy and clerks’ anger trumps logic.