By Alex Garner
It seems like every week I am writing something about HIV criminalization. That isn’t because there are a dearth of HIV related stories to write about, it’s because there is a profound lack of urgency and interest in HIV criminalization.
Below is a video titled, “HIV Is Not A Crime”. It’s a trailer for a documentary about HIV criminalization. If you are HIV positive or negative you should watch this video. If you have been impacted in anyway by HIV or simply are concerned about social justice, I urge you to watch this video. Sean Strub, the founder of Poz Magazine, is in the process of creating a documentary about the frightening and unjust issue of HIV criminalization.
Sean puts it very succinctly, “HIV criminalization creates a viral underclass with different laws or enhanced punishment based on HIV positive status.”
People in the country continue to be arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms because of their HIV status and the majority of public opinion seems to believe these laws are acceptable. These laws are fueled by fear and ignorance and in the log run have a detrimental effect on the very public health they claim to be protecting.
A project like this documentary will put a face on the people who are being unjustly prosecuted and the humanization of these individuals will help the general public understand the real impact of these laws. Our communities need to be called to action because too many of us are unaware of, indifferent to or hostile towards those who are charged with the crime of being HIV positive.