(Co-authored by Tyler Ament)

NEW YORK, December 9 (C-FAM) - A new campaign seeks to eliminate disclosure laws which require HIV positive individuals to inform their sex partners of their potentially deadly infection.

The campaign is led by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and UNAIDS, an umbrella group of UN agencies. Notably absent from this campaign is any recognition of the danger posed for the possible victims of a willful refusal to disclose HIV status.

As part of the campaign, IPPF released a collection of interviews entitled “Behind Bars”, which implies that such criminal laws fuel stigma against HIV persons.  Proponents of criminal laws assert, however, they are designed to help protect and prevent sexual partners from contracting a potentially deadly virus.

Some of the testimony of the interviewees in “Behind Bars” directly contradicts the assertions made by IPPF.  An Egyptian doctor states that irresponsible behavior which results in a car accident deserves punishment just like the failure to disclose one’s HIV status before engaging in sexual activity deserves punishment: “In the same way, if someone who knows that he is HIV positive is careless and just allows my son or my daughter to become HIV infected I would feel the same.”

“Behind Bars” is part of a larger IPPF campaign, “Criminalize Hate Not HIV,” launched at the International Aids Conference in Vienna in July. IPPF describes laws that make willful transmission of HIV to another person as too-costly, hindrances to prevention, and stigmatizing. The video promo for the campaign depicts various sexual scenes and appears to promote homosexual sex, drug use, and prostitution, which are listed by the Center for Disease Control as three of the most high risk behaviors responsible for the transmission of HIV.

“This clearly shows that IPPF believes that illicit sex is more important that life itself – and they are willing to risk other people’s lives to advance their sexual agenda,” said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America.

UNAIDS and the World Health Organization sponsored this year’s International Aids Conference.  IPPF and UNAIDS collaborated in sponsoring the “Stigma Index”, whose website contains a major section calling for the decriminalization of HIV transmission.

IPPF contends, “The drive for criminalization of willful transmission of HIV is proving a costly intervention – in terms of time and money spent on investigating individual’s private lives and determining the burden of proof – and seems to have had limited impact on HIV prevention.”

However, Wendy Wright told C-Fam’s Friday Fax that the costs of enforcing the laws are dwarfed in comparison to the costs associated with HIV/AIDS.

In March, IPPF made available their sex guide [EXPLICIT], “Healthy, Happy, and Hot” at a UN event sponsored by the Girl Scouts.  The brochure states, “Some countries have laws that violate the right of young people living with HIV to decide whether to disclose…These laws violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges.”

This article reprinted with permission from www.c-fam.org