Race, the U=U Campaign and HIV Law Reform
Undetectable = Untransmittable ("U=U") affirms that people living with HIV ("PLHIV") who reach a sustained, undetectable viral load pose effectively no risk of transmission to a sexual partner. U=U aims to promote universal access to care and dismantle HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Relying on U=U as the lynchpin argument for HIV criminal law reform could produce unintended consequences (1) Leading with U=U privileges the biomedical over the structural, and can shift focus away systemic inequalities in the criminal legal system and their interaction with disparities in treatment access; (2) Reliance on U=U may suggest that, absent ART or an undetectable viral load, prosecution of PLHIV is warranted, minimizing the fact that these laws were never justified; (3) Centralizing U=U can suggest that PLHIV who are not undetectable pose a significant risk or that an HIV diagnosis is akin to a death sentence, both of which are false.
Friday, January 19th, 2018
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