CHLP Discusses HIV Criminalization & Stigma

Nov. 20, 2015

Following Charlie Sheen’s announcement on Tuesday regarding his HIV status, CHLP Staffer Pepis Rodriguez joined HuffPost Voices Editorial Director Noah Michelson and HIV activist Robert Levithan for a HuffPost Live Panel Discussion on Wednesday to talk about the ethics of HIV disclosure.

Rodriguez provided the legal perspective on HIV criminalization and stigma, explaining that HIV criminalization is based on outdated medical science and is contrary to both well-accepted criminal law principles and public health. Instead, these laws fuel the spread of HIV by perpetuating stigma and driving people away from HIV testing and treatment.

Rodriguez provided recommendations for improving the landscape of HIV treatment and reducing HIV stigma including:
• providing medically accurate, LGBTQ-inclusive and -engaging comprehensive sexual health literacy;
• building coalitions among marginalized communities to include issues of economic justice, racial justice, and LGBTQ justice; and
• reaching out to elected officials and candidates for office to voice concerns about HIV criminalization.