Resolution on Ending Federal and State HIV-Specific Criminal Laws, Prosecutions, and Civil Commitments, President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), 2013

Letters and Other Advocacy Documents

The President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS voted on February 7, 2013, to approve a resolution calling for federal action against HIV criminalization.

The resolution includes the following recommendations:

1. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/CDC complete a written review regarding opportunities for the creation of specific guidance and incentives to state attorneys general and state departments of health for the elimination of HIV-specific criminal laws;

2. Current criminal laws require modernization to eliminate HIV-specific statutes or application of general criminal law that treats HIV status, or the use of condoms or other measure to prevent HIV transmission, as the basis for criminal prosecution or sentence enhancement;

3. Federal and state officials should review the HIV-specific convictions and related penalties, sentence enhancements, and other restrictions imposed on people living with HIV, such as mandated sex-offender registration and civil commitment;

4. U.S. law should be consistent with current medical and scientific knowledge and accepted human rights-based approaches to disease control and prevention and avoid imposition of unwarranted punishment based on health and disability status;

5. The CDC should issue a clear statement addressing the growing evidence that HIV criminalization and punishments are counterproductive and undermine current HIV testing and prevention priorities.