The hiv stigma: duty or defence?


Abstract: This article will outline and analyse the current stance of English criminal law regarding the transmission of HIV. The issues that surround consent, particularly in circumstances involving HIV, will be examined in conjunction with the defence of ‘reasonable precautions’ with a particular focus on condom use and antiretroviral therapy. Attention will be paid to the contribution of case law and the various circumstances which may fall within this realm in order to gain insight into the social and personal difficulties that the virus presents both infected and uninfected parties. The paternalistic nature of the current legal approach to HIV sufferers will be critiqued and finger-pointing at vulnerable infected parties will be analysed, with a view to exploring alternative possibilities which value dignity and equality over self-preservation

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