HIV Criminalization 101By Sean StrubOver the last several years, as I’ve talked to a wider circle of advocates, people with HIV and policy leaders about HIV criminalization, it has become apparent to me that many people are not well-informed on the topic. 
Many people instinctively favor prosecuting people with HIV for not disclosing their HIV status prior to intimate contact — but these opinions tend to evolve quickly as a person learns more about the issue.
Nothing drives stigma more powerfully than when a government sanctions it through the enshrinement of discriminatory practices in the law or its application. That is what has happened with HIV, resulting in the creation of a viral underclass of persons with rights inferior to others, especially in regard to their sexual expression. (Read More)

HIV Criminalization 101
By Sean Strub

Over the last several years, as I’ve talked to a wider circle of advocates, people with HIV and policy leaders about HIV criminalization, it has become apparent to me that many people are not well-informed on the topic. 

Many people instinctively favor prosecuting people with HIV for not disclosing their HIV status prior to intimate contact — but these opinions tend to evolve quickly as a person learns more about the issue.

Nothing drives stigma more powerfully than when a government sanctions it through the enshrinement of discriminatory practices in the law or its application. That is what has happened with HIV, resulting in the creation of a viral underclass of persons with rights inferior to others, especially in regard to their sexual expression. (Read More)

Notes on a Flash: Creating Agile Strategies for Social ChangeThis winter, artist Avram Finkelstein and members of the Fucklaws collective out of Montreal joined Visual AIDS in Brooklyn to talk about creating a social movement and  battling HIV criminalization with visual art.
Interested in getting involved or learning more? Check out POZ’s blog coverage of the workshop.

Notes on a Flash: Creating Agile Strategies for Social Change

This winter, artist Avram Finkelstein and members of the Fucklaws collective out of Montreal joined Visual AIDS in Brooklyn to talk about creating a social movement and  battling HIV criminalization with visual art.

Interested in getting involved or learning more? Check out POZ’s blog coverage of the workshop.

State Supreme Court Will Hear Criminal Case of Iowa Man With HIVFor some background: Nick Rhoades was sentenced to the maximum of 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender after having a one-time sexual encounter with Adam Plendl during which they used a condom and no HIV was transmitted. After Plendl was told by a friend that Rhoades might have HIV, he contacted the police, who arrested Rhoades in September 2008. He’s been fighting ever since.

State Supreme Court Will Hear Criminal Case of Iowa Man With HIV

For some background: Nick Rhoades was sentenced to the maximum of 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender after having a one-time sexual encounter with Adam Plendl during which they used a condom and no HIV was transmitted. After Plendl was told by a friend that Rhoades might have HIV, he contacted the police, who arrested Rhoades in September 2008. He’s been fighting ever since.

Sean Strub: HIV Panic Again Trumps Justice, EducationA local PA newspaper reports that a 25-year-old woman from the central part of the stae was charged with sexual assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person — because she allegedly did not disclose her HIV status to a sexual partner. The article doesn’t note whether her sex partner acquired HIV, but did violate her privacy by printing her name and the town she lives, thereby outing her HIV status to her community. This type of irresponsible reportage leads to a conviction in the court of public opinion before the woman even goes to trial.

Sean Strub: HIV Panic Again Trumps Justice, Education

A local PA newspaper reports that a 25-year-old woman from the central part of the stae was charged with sexual assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person — because she allegedly did not disclose her HIV status to a sexual partner. The article doesn’t note whether her sex partner acquired HIV, but did violate her privacy by printing her name and the town she lives, thereby outing her HIV status to her community. This type of irresponsible reportage leads to a conviction in the court of public opinion before the woman even goes to trial.

$33M HIV Stripper Lawsuit REJECTEDA judge in Canada has rejected a $33 million lawsuit by a Toronto man who contracted HIV from his ex-wife, a stripper he met at a gentleman’s club. Percy Whiteman argued that the club, the province and the federal government failed to protect him because she was not tested for HIV when she arrived from Thailand in 1995……Here’s a pic of the club he met her at, for reference.

$33M HIV Stripper Lawsuit REJECTED

A judge in Canada has rejected a $33 million lawsuit by a Toronto man who contracted HIV from his ex-wife, a stripper he met at a gentleman’s club. Percy Whiteman argued that the club, the province and the federal government failed to protect him because she was not tested for HIV when she arrived from Thailand in 1995……

Here’s a pic of the club he met her at, for reference.

Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Overturning HIV Conviction
In 2011, A Minnesota jury initially convicted Daniel James Rick—a man who disclosed his HIV status to his partner before engaging in consensual sex— of attempted first-degree assault. He was convicted under a statute that makes it illegal to spread a disease by transferring blood, sperm, organs or tissue, unless it’s for medical procedures. The case has been since overturned the decision on the grounds of HIV criminalization. 

Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Overturning HIV Conviction


In 2011, A Minnesota jury initially convicted Daniel James Rick—a man who disclosed his HIV status to his partner before engaging in consensual sex— of attempted first-degree assault. He was convicted under a statute that makes it illegal to spread a disease by transferring blood, sperm, organs or tissue, unless it’s for medical procedures. The case has been since overturned the decision on the grounds of HIV criminalization. 

TV Stations Miss Real Story Behind HIV-Positive Inmate
WHAS, WLKY, and WDRB all reported essentially the same story which appears to be based on a single arrest report: an HIV-positive inmate at Louisville Metro Corrections allegedly threw a cup of his own urine onto a corrections officer.
The corrections department decided to destroy the officer’s clothing and send the officer to a local hospital for “treatment and decontamination” despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through urine.
For more of this article, click here.

TV Stations Miss Real Story Behind HIV-Positive Inmate

WHAS, WLKY, and WDRB all reported essentially the same story which appears to be based on a single arrest report: an HIV-positive inmate at Louisville Metro Corrections allegedly threw a cup of his own urine onto a corrections officer.

The corrections department decided to destroy the officer’s clothing and send the officer to a local hospital for “treatment and decontamination” despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through urine.

For more of this article, click here.