Abstract PS11/5
 
Effective Antiretroviral Therapy: Impact on the Criminalization of HIV Exposure Print
 
D. Glejser1
1Groupe Sida Genève, Genève, Switzerland
 
Issues: In Switzerland, exposure to HIV transmission by HIV positive persons is a criminal offense even when consented to by the HIV negative partner. Publication of new data on the preventive effect of ART by the Swiss Commission for HIV/AIDS (Now Swiss commission for sexual health) in 2008 and 2 criminal prosecutions in Geneva leading to acquittals based on the 2008 publication appears to have greatly impacted the criminalization of HIV exposure.
Methods: Reviews of criminal judgements in Swiss Cantonal courts and the Swiss federal court, statements by stakeholders and policy makers as well as records of parliamentary proceedings in the Swiss federal assembly since 2009 serve to inform this survey.
Results: Since the 2009 Geneva acquittals, no further prosecutions for exposure to HIV transmission by HIV positive persons under effective antiretroviral therapy are known to have led to convictions. In 2012, Parliament voted for abolishing article 231 of the criminal code and ending prosecution of exposure to HIV transmission in cases where informed consent was given, pending a popular vote in September 2013. In 2013 the Swiss federal court ruled HIV infection is not necessarily serious bodily harm.
Conclusions: Undeniably, the preventive effect of effective ART should inform HIV-specific criminal legislations or interpretation of non-specific criminal legislations, in particular those which criminalize HIV exposure in countries where state-of-the-art antiretroviral therapies are available. Recommendation is to advise prosecutorial, judicial, and legislative stakeholders, as relevant information has great potential impact on prosecutions and legislative processes.


Assigned speakers:
Deborah Glejser , Groupe Sida Genève , Genève , Switzerland

Assigned in sessions:
18.10.2013, 14:00-16:00, Parallel Session, PS11, Sex, Drugs and Stigma, Copper Hall