UK: Law Commission Scoping Consultation Deadline this Week; Key Findings and Outputs from 'Criminalizing Contagion' Seminar Series May Help Inform the Process

This week, the Law Commission – which reviews areas of the law in England and Wales that have become unduly complicated, outdated or unfair –  will conclude its scoping consultation of the reform the Offences Against The Person Act, the law that is currently used to prosecute people living with HIV (and occasionally other sexually transmitted infections; one each so far for gonorrhoea, hepatitis B and genital herpes) for ‘reckless’ or ‘intentional’ transmission, as grievous bodily harm.


Ban Ki-moon: Anti-sodomy laws ‘breed intolerance’

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday reaffirmed his opposition to laws that criminalize homosexuality.

"I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality," said Ban during an event in the Indian capital of New Delhi that marked the 70th anniversary of the U.N.'s founding. "I speak out because laws criminalizing consensual, adult same-sex relationships violate basic rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination."


Draft amendment to HIV law passes committee review

The legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday approved a series of draft amendments to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act (人類免疫缺乏病毒傳染防治及感染者權益保障條例), aiming to put an end to controversial regulations that deport foreign nationals who have contracted the virus.

Under the current law, foreigners who have been in Taiwan for more than three months are required to be tested for HIV/AIDS and those whose results are positive for the sexually transmitted disease are to be deported.


Sir Elton John funds probe into Canada’s treatment of refugees with HIV

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is funding a University of Toronto study into how recent changes to Canada's refugee policies affect people who are living with or at risk of acquiring HIV.

The $75,000 grant was announced this week by the singer's long-time partner and now husband from Toronto, David Furnish.


Philadelphia Freedom: HIV and Incarceration

In 2009, I had the privilege of speaking at the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island, New York, at their World AIDS Day event. I shared my personal journey of being diagnosed with HIV and how the virus changed my life. I also urged the inmates and other attendees to know their HIV status.

The medium-security facility was closed in 2011, but I'll never forget my visit -- it was the first time I had ever been in a prison. Even though I was only visiting, I was keenly aware that I was behind bars. Not being an inmate, I had the right to leave at any time, of course. Nonetheless, I couldn't just walk out whenever I wanted. On the smallest of scales, my sense of freedom was challenged.