Intersections of disclosure and prosecution
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Intersections of Disclosure and Prosecution. Transgender People in the US Respond to Criminal Laws B ased on HIV Status. Cecilia Chung and Laurel Sprague July 23, 2014 AIDS 2014 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Respondent Voices.

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Intersections of Disclosure and Prosecution

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Intersections of disclosure and prosecution

Intersections of Disclosure and Prosecution

Transgender People in the US Respond to Criminal Laws Based on HIV Status

Cecilia Chung and Laurel Sprague

July 23, 2014

AIDS 2014

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Respondent voices

Respondent Voices

  • In order to file charges, I [would have] had to disclose my rape, my [HIV] status and I would have to give up my privacy and be subjected to public scrutiny (African American transgender woman, age 60 or older).

  • I was the one charged...there was absolutely NO physical contact...simply saying yes to sex... after 9 months in jail, and a front page news article in hopes that SOMEONE would come forward, the charges were dropped...not before my reputation, both professionally and personal, was ruined (White transgender woman, age 40-49).


The sero project study on hiv criminalization

The Sero Project Study on HIV Criminalization

  • Purpose of the Study

    • Research led by and for people living with HIV

    • Identify the views of people living with and affected by HIV about the use of HIV-related criminal laws


Study methods

Study Methods

  • On-line questionnaire

  • Anonymous responses

  • Wide community distribution

  • Survey available for 8 weeks

    • from June to August 2012

  • 20-30 minutes completion time

  • IRB approval through

    • Eastern Michigan University


Transgender respondents

Transgender Respondents

US respondents = 3034, 2% identified as transgender or third sex


Enabling legal environment

Enabling Legal Environment

Disabling


Intersections of disclosure and prosecution

Do you feel confident that you could protect yourself legally from accusations that you engaged in sexual behavior without disclosing your HIV-positive status?

HIV-positive respondents only


Have you ever worried about being falsely accused of not disclosing your hiv status

Have you ever worried about being falsely accused of not disclosing your HIV status?

  • Transgender women living with HIV were the most frequently worried about false accusations of non-disclosure (23%).

HIV-positive respondents only


Intersections of disclosure and prosecution

Do you believe a person living with HIV could get a fair hearing in your state if accused of not disclosing his or her HIV status to a sexual partner?

HIV-positive respondents only


Why or why not

Why or why not?

  • As a poztrans woman, I find it doubtful that I would be given a fair hearing in any court of law (Latina trans woman, age 24-29).

  • Because although this state has become fairly tolerant with regards to the LBGT community, there is still a lot of intolerance when it comes to the transgender community that extends to the court system (African American trans woman, age 60 or older).

  • As for being transgender, ….we have been treated very badly by the system here (White trans woman, age 40-49).


Hiv disclosure

HIV Disclosure


Intersections of disclosure and prosecution

Should a person living with HIV disclose her/his status to a potential sexual partner before engaging in sexual activities?


Intersections of disclosure and prosecution

Should a person living with HIV who is a sex worker disclose her/his status to a client before engaging in sexual acts?


Criminal laws and attitudes toward hiv testing treatment and disclosure

Criminal Laws and Attitudes toward HIV Testing, Treatment, and Disclosure


How reasonable is it to avoid testing treatment or disclosure because of fear of prosecution

How reasonable is it to avoid testing, treatment, or disclosure because of fear of prosecution?


Summary in comparison with cisgender respondents

Summary in Comparison with Cisgender Respondents

  • Transgender and third sex respondents were the most likely to focus on the context ("it depends on the circumstances") when determining whether there should be criminal charges fornon-disclosure related to sex, drug use, or sex work.

  • Transgender and third sex respondents were the most likely to say that it is reasonablefor a person living with HIV to avoid testing, treatment and disclosure for fear of criminalization.

  • Transgender and third sex respondents living with HIV expressed the strongest sense of legal vulnerability, indicating:

    • Much lessconfidence that they could protect themselves legally from accusations that they had not disclosed their status

    • Much more frequent worries about being falsely accused of non-disclosure

    • The lowest levels of trust that a person living with HIV could get a fair court hearing if accused of non-disclosure


Next steps

Next Steps

  • Research that people living with HIV need:

    • Violence related to disclosure

    • With specific questions for transgender people living with HIV


Thank you

Thank you

to the people living with HIV and members of affected communities who generously shared their time, thoughts and experiences with us and made this research possible.


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