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New guide explains prosecutions for HIV transmission

Friday, May 22, 2009

NAT and THT provide guidance for people living with HIV

Two leading HIV charities have today launched a guide for people living with HIV in England and Wales explaining criminal prosecutions for HIV transmission.
Prosecutions for HIV Transmission, written by NAT (National AIDS Trust) and THT (Terrence Higgins Trust), explains the law around HIV transmission in a straightforward way, answers some common questions and provides practical advice for anyone accused of HIV transmission or considering making a complaint against someone for HIV transmission.
Since 2003, people living with HIV in England and Wales have been prosecuted for the reckless transmission of HIV. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recently clarified the law around prosecutions for HIV transmission. Whilst NAT and THT both remain opposed to prosecutions for reckless HIV transmission, this new guidance provides an objective account of the law and practical advice.
Yusef Azad, Director of Policy and Campaigns, NAT, comments:
“Today the majority of investigations into HIV transmission do not go to court but they can still cause much distress for all involved.
NAT is still campaigning for an end to prosecutions for reckless transmission of HIV through consensual sex. But while prosecutions occur we are working with THT to ensure that all those involved – lawyers, prosecutors, police, support organisations, healthcare workers and most importantly people living with HIV understand the law.
Everybody living with HIV in England and Wales should read this leaflet.”

Lisa Power, Head of Policy, Terrence Higgins Trust, comments:
"It's really important that everyone with HIV knows what the law says and does in relation to their lives. We've supported many people - both complainants and defendants -  who got involved in prosecutions for passing HIV without taking proper advice and regretted it later. This leaflet would have helped them."
Any individuals who are concerned about prosecutions for HIV transmission or have any questions should contact THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200, who have experience in dealing with these issues.

Download the leaflet - updated May 2010 Prosecutions for HIV Transmission: A guide for people living with HIV in England and Wales

As well as producing guidance for individuals living with HIV, THT and NAT are working to ensure police investigate allegations of reckless or intentional HIV transmission appropriately. THT recently produced the report Policing Transmission which is available at:

Notes to the editor:

For further information please contact:
Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299
Sally Sharpe
Head of Media
Terrence Higgins Trust
020 7812 1625
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity with centres across England, Scotland and Wales. We're here to provide information and advice about HIV and sexual health and offer a range of services including sexual health checks, counselling and support groups. We campaign for a world where people with HIV live healthy lives, free from prejudice and discrimination and we promote good sexual health as a right and reality for all.