HIV Criminalization: ONAP’s Harold Phillips Discusses Repealing Outdated Laws
In his latest video conversation with HIV.gov, Harold Phillips, Director of the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), discussed the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s call to modernize or repeal outdated HIV-specific criminal exposure laws. He observes that such laws, on the books in about 30 states, do not reflect today’s scientific understanding of HIV and the effectiveness of the tools available to prevent transmission.
Watch the conversation here:
These laws do not increase [HIV status] disclosure rates,” Mr. Phillips explains, “and they may discourage HIV testing and increase HIV-related stigma, which gets in the way of us achieving our goals to end the HIV epidemic. He added, “We want these laws to be updated so that they follow the science.”
Recent efforts to advance changes in these state laws and the practices of local prosecutors have included a January listening session hosted by Director Phillips. In addition, the inaugural national observance of HIV is Not A Crime Awareness Day was marked on February 28, 2022. This day is intended to raise awareness of unjust laws that criminalize people with HIV and is dedicated to advocating for HIV criminal law reform and getting rid of policies and legislation that discriminate or stigmatize individuals due to their health status.
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