Section 1: Understanding your client and your case (Lawyers’ Resource Kit)

This is Section 1 of Responding to the Criminalization of HIV Transmission or Exposure: Resources for lawyers and advocates. Access the full kit at

Some lawyers and service providers have lots of experience with HIV, while others may not have as much. There are a lot of common misconceptions about HIV — and left unchecked, they can pose problems for your client, in and out of the courtroom. This section includes basic information about HIV, HIV transmission and treatment, the realities of living with HIV and the complexity of HIV related criminal cases.

HIV and its transmission

F. Barré-Sinoussi et al., Expert consensus statement on the science of HIV in the context of criminal law, Journal of the International AIDS Society, 2018, 21:e25161July 2018.

For more information on the science of HIV transmission, go to section 4.

HIV testing:

Learning about HIV and living with HIV

For information on the HIV epidemic globally, visit the UNAIDS website.

Lawyers discuss challenges of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission cases

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