Saturday, 4 February 2012

Criminalizing those who live with HIV



There is sadly a very worrying trend worldwide to criminalise those with HIV.

This is NOT about those VERY few who deliberately set out to infect others. They do exist, and there are bad in every community and not all that have any illness are nice people.

But this is so very very RARE!

This post is about criminalizing ordinary men and women who live with HIV. People that do not want to infect anyone and often do their best not to.

Many who have fallen foul of this trend have been completely open about being HIV positive.

But for various reasons sometimes  not all may disclose, either in general life or even when they have sex - but they do protect their partners



Before you judge............

Realise THIS is NOT a simple issue or as black and white as you may feel if you have not looked at the issues.

And if you have any interest, please look at these links  - and learn.
I will add links to this post as I find them.

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LINKS - Criminalizing those who live with HIV

This first link is a very powerful video about criminalising HIV and those with it and how unjust it is and perpetuates stigma. And how it particularly affects women.

It is about the US, BUT this DOES happen here in the UK and all of Europe. Perhaps not so often but believe me it does happen
http://t.co/1EP5vAmg

Ten Reasons to Oppose the Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission
http://www.soros.org/initiatives/health/focus/law/articles_publications/publications/10reasons_20080918

A very interesting collection about the discussion about criminalisation
http://criminalhivtransmission.blogspot.com/.

Countries questioning laws that criminalize HIV transmission and exposure
http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2011/april/20110426criminalization/


Alice Welbourn - http://www.sophiaforum.net/index.php/Biographies/Dr_Alice_Welbourn

Is a briliant social scientist from the UK who also lives with HIV herself and thesedays  specialises in the criminalisation of those with HIV especially from womens perspective.

She in fact is British, and lives relatively not far from me in the South West of the UK  and I have met her a few times and seen her speak on the subject.

I met her through PozFem for which I am very greatful http://www.poz-fem-uk.org/ And will be greatful I met all the wonderful women I met through PozFem UK

( Sadly - due to the reccession I guess? -  PozFem no longer has the money it needs for us to meet up. This is a great shame)



On a very personal level as we live quite close and are of simular ages and perhaps backgrounds and perhaps lifestyle I did so very much wish/hope we could become friends and had been able to meet sometimes outside of PozFem?
But she is a very busy activist and renowned social scientist and I am very small fry, a very newly diagnosed women, a budding HIV activist but one that will mostly have to confine my activities to my local area of the UK and online as unlike Alice I am disabled and feel unable to cope with much travel. And one who is only now really learning the issues and the huge complexity of them.

But I will always admire Alice Welbourn, and |I will always follow what she has to say and be very greatful we met.
She probably is one of the foremost experts on this subject in the UK

Try these links below but also Google 'Alice Welbourn' and read her papers and presentations.

http://www.sophiaforum.net/resources/HealthCriminalisation_RZedawuncleaned.pdf
http://www.athenanetwork.org/assets/files/ALQ-Mujeres_Adelante_--_March_2010.pdf
http://www.opendemocracy.net/authors/alice_welbourn

New laws to fight discrimination will do little to protect women diagnosed with HIV - Alice Welbourn
The Guardian,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/16/gender.aids

Women with AIDS:Commonwealthcasualties
http://www.icw.org/files/HRHS_Welbourn_3_0.pdf

HIV & AIDS  - a book Alice Welbourn edited
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dIvD6eyT27UC&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=alice+welbourn+biography&source=bl&ots=YWQagtPS3K&sig=YlkJXvVmyJqDCvjz5TzZQW8fJ1k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R_0sT_LJGIah8gOOupHtDg&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Behind Bars: Life Stories of People Affected by the Criminalization of HIV
http://ippfaids2010.blogspot.com/2010/12/behind-bars-life-stories-of-people.html

More life stories of people affected by the criminalization of HIV
http://www.ippf.org/en/What-we-do/AIDS+and+HIV/Behind+bars.htm

Submitted by - Michèle Claudine Meyer thank you Michele
10 reasons to oppose the criminalization of HIV exposure or transmissionhttp://www.soros.org/initiatives/health/focus/law/articles_publications/publications/10reasons_20080918/10reasons_20081201.pdf

One about the other side of the argument - but also supports the argument not to generally crininalize those with HIV - a blog post by someone I know online who also lives with HIV
http://hivspice.posterous.com/the-criminalization-of-hiv-david-dean-smith-s

Whenever I have time I will add more links to this post.

Criminalization of those that live with HIV is one of the most important - and potentially damaging - issues all of us that live with HIV worldwide face today.

Just my humble opinion!


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