HIV Treatment as Prevention: Not an Argument for Continuing Criminalisation of HIV Transmission

International Journal of Law in Context, 9,4 pp. 520–534 (2013)

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper

15 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2019

See all articles by John G. Francis

John G. Francis

University of Utah - Political Science Department

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

HIV prevention and treatment are undergoing impressive technological and practice changes. In-home rapid testing, prophylaxis before risky sex, and treatment as prevention give cause for remarkable optimism and suggest the possibility of an AIDS-free generation. These changes in HIV prevention and treatment might affect HIV policy in several different directions. One direction would be further entrenchment of the currently prevailing punitive approach. A different direction would be a shift away from use of the criminal law as a method for discouraging risky behaviour and towards a strategy aimed to encourage the use of the new treatment and prevention possibilities. When such abrupt technological changes are accompanied by sharp changes in regulatory regimes, they are identified in the public policy literature as a ‘punctuated equilibrium’. A shift away from criminalisation in HIV policy, if sufficiently widespread and transformative, could reach the level of a punctuated equilibrium. This paper presents a critical assessment of the implications of the changes in available forms of treatment and prevention for the continued appeal of criminalisation as an approach to HIV policy. We conclude that criminalisation is less justifiable in the light of what might be circumstances ripe for a punctuated equilibrium.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment

Suggested Citation

Francis, John G. and Francis, Leslie P., HIV Treatment as Prevention: Not an Argument for Continuing Criminalisation of HIV Transmission (2013). International Journal of Law in Context, 9,4 pp. 520–534 (2013); University of Utah College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3373996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3373996

John G. Francis

University of Utah - Political Science Department ( email )

260 S. Central Campus Drive
Room 252
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801 585 3460 (Phone)
801 585 6492 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.poli-sci.utah.edu

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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