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March 2015
POLICY AND ADVOCACY
New Statement on Criminalization of HIV and other Communicable Diseases

HIVMA and IDSA have released a new policy statement on the criminalization of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other communicable diseases opposing legal statutes that undermine public health by criminalizing the transmission of infectious diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 33 states have enacted a total of 67 HIV-specific criminalization laws. Twenty-four states have general STI/communicable disease laws; 21 have STI/communicable disease misdemeanor laws, and nine have STI/communicable disease felony laws. These laws discourage individuals from being screened and receiving treatment and fuel stigma. IDSA and HIVMA urge state policymakers to modernize existing criminalization laws and to direct resources to evidenced-based prevention interventions that can significantly reduce the impact of infectious diseases.



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