Bringing HIV Laws Up To Date: A Conversation

Dec 13, 2019

Public health experts, including the American Medical Association, are calling for an end to so-called HIV criminalization laws, which require people with HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners, IV drug users, and other specific groups. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting's All IN talked with Side Effects' Paige Pfleger about her reporting on HIV laws; two representatives of the Damien Center, a group that helps HIV-positive people in Indiana; Jada Hicks, staff attorney with Center for HIV Law and Policy; and Carrie Foote, associate professor of sociology at IUPUI. This show was in partnership with Side Effects. 

"Our laws are in place and science and medicine is something that is always advancing... And the science around HIV has changed a lot," Side Effects' Paige Pfleger says. "And so their argument is the laws need to change to meet up with the science." 

The thought behind these laws is that they deter HIV-positive people from spreading the virus. But today’s treatment regimens can bring the virus down to near undetectable levels in some patients, and many critics of disclosure laws say they create a culture of fear among the HIV-positive population.

The show discussed a “one-stop shop” model implemented at an HIV treatment center in Indianapolis, designed to offer a host of services for those in need. 

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