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U=U acknowledged in prosecutors’ guidance in England and Wales

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Jim Allen:
U=U acknowledged in prosecutors’ guidance in England and Wales

Aidsmap article: https://www.aidsmap.com/news/apr-2023/uu-acknowledged-prosecutors-guidance-england-and-wales

In brief:


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New Crown Prosecution Service guidance on cases of alleged HIV transmission state that an undetectable viral load stops HIV transmission. While the previous guidance stated that a person’s viral load at the time may provide a defence because it was believed to reduce transmission risk, it did not clearly set out the medical consensus is that this risk is zero. Cases should no longer be taken to court in England and Wales when a person has an undetectable viral load and is aware that Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, concealing or lying about living with HIV is not viewed as a sexual offence. This is unlike jurisdictions that have specific HIV non-disclosure laws. However, reckless or intentional transmission of an STI is viewed as a form of grievous bodily harm that can result in criminal charges.

Since 2001, there have been more than 30 people convicted of reckless HIV transmission, one of intentional HIV transmission and one of recklessly transmitting herpes in England and Wales.

The National AIDS Trust has commended the updated guidance, as it is notable that it aligns with current scientific understanding. However, they also acknowledged that HIV criminalisation remains inherently problematic.

“We believe treating the reckless transmission of HIV as a criminal issue does more harm than good and does not result in reduced transmissions or a greater public understanding of HIV,” they say. “The updates to the guidance can go some way to ensure that cases are handled sensitively and consider the facts around HIV today. It’s essential that the CPS continue open dialogue with people living with HIV, community organisations and clinicians to ensure that the guidance reflects the most up to date evidence and that it is supporting good practice.”
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leatherman:
glad to see science, and PLWH, get a win!

Jim Allen:

--- Quote from: leatherman on April 03, 2023, 10:30:48 am ---glad to see science, and PLWH, get a win!

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Yeah, it's good, but we need more countries and regions to do the same, long way to go.

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