Section 4: Understanding the science (Lawyers’ Resource Kit)

This is Section 4 of Responding to the Criminalization of HIV Transmission or Exposure: Resources for lawyers and advocates. Access the full kit at

This section provides a detailed and fully referenced compilation of the latest scientific evidence and materials regarding treatment, per-act risks of HIV transmission and proving actual HIV transmission from one person to another.


Review of available scientific research, including the risk of HIV transmission during sexual relations and the nature of HIV

Position Statements

Significant scientific studies on the risks of HIV transmission

Risks of HIV transmission — general

Treatment and Viral Load

Condom Use

  • S.C. Weller and K. Davis-Beaty, “Condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual HIV transmission (Review),” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1 (2002) No.: CD003255. (Abstract)
  • S.D. Pinkerton and P.R. Abramson, “Effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV transmission,” Social Science & Medicine 44, 9 (1997): pp. 1303–1312 (Abstract).

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Oral Sex


Biting and Spitting

HIV as a chronic and manageable disease

Scientific evidence on proving actual transmission of HIV

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