During the last plenary session of the XVII International AIDS Conference, the Hon. Juge Edwin Cameron, openly HIVpositive member of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal, made a brilliant speech against criminalization of HIV transmission and calls for international mobilization.
Act Up-Paris supports this call and preceeded it by launching a international initiative : the « International petition against criminalization of HIV transmission » on Monday 5th of August.
In this petition, our statement :
demands the complete and definitive abrogation, in every country, of every law that aims specifically at punishing HIV positive men and women for the transmission of HIV ;
in the countries where no specific laws exist but where HIV positive people are however sentenced by courts for having transmitted HIV, demands that prosecutors understand that such sentencing won’t stop the pandemic, and either stop taking HIV transmission cases, or refrain from requesting prison or damages against people living with HIV ;
demands that the prison sentences pronounced against HIV positive persons for having transmitted HIV be cancelled ;
calls upon AIDS major funders, and especially the Global Fund, PEPFAR, the European Union and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to pay special attention to what programs they finance, with a view to ensuring that the programs they support are not embedded in legislations that criminalize, even indirectly, either HIV status or HIV transmission ;
demands that courts and legal experts around the world recognize the legal human rights principle that courts must never make their sentence harsher on the mere basis that the person convicted happens to be HIV positive. Act Up-Paris called the people involved in the fight against AIDS and AIDS organizations, stand united « Neither guilty nor victims » and fight together in their respective countries and at an international level against the representations, the laws, and the court decisions that lead to make scapegoats out of people living with HIV, putting the responsibility for the pandemic solely on their shoulders.
This petition already got numerous signatures from the participants of the AIDS Confrence, including those of Pr. Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Drector of the Global Fund against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Pr. Willy Rozenbaum, the President of the French National AIDS Council on AIDS, Dr. Bruno Spire, the President of AIDES, the primary French non governmental HIV/AIDS organisation, Mike Kennedy, the Secretary of Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.
Présentation de l’association.[la suite]