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VIC government to amend HIV crime act to remove discrimination
Jul20

VIC government to amend HIV crime act to remove discrimination

LAST UPDATED // Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:00 Written by // Cec Busby

Victorian Health Minister David Davis has announced the government will amend Section 19A of the state’s Crimes Act, to ensure it’s non-discriminatory. 19A currently criminalises the transmission of HIV.

The news of the planned reform was announced at the Beyond Blame forum this morning ahead of the AIDS 2014 conference, Davis’s proclamation was met with applause and a standing ovation from the assembled audience.

Currently Victoria is the only state which has specific laws surrounding the transmission of HIV. HIV advocates have been calling for the repeal of 19A since its inception, as the law is thought to stigmatise people living with HIV.

Whilst largely symbolic, the government's gesture will go a long way towards removing stigma for people living with HIV who may be fearful about being criminalised for disclosing or not disclosing their status.

The announcement comes as part of a broader statement from all Australian governments about the legacy of AIDS 2014, which is slated for this afternoon.

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Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and GayNewsNetwork.com.au.

Comments (1)

  • Anon

    13 August 2014 at 01:48 |
    HIV transmission MUST be criminalized in order to punish those who deliberately, willfully and recklessly inflict the virus on others. Such people need to be locked away for years isolated from the rest of society. Your wishy-washy do-gooer ideas only serve to inflict pain and suffering on innocent people. I am talking here of guys who know they have HIV and who refuse to tell their multiple partners of their condition or take precaution. I know of one such person who has been doing this for 12 years. I have written to the Health authorities and to the Police, to no effect. In Australia if someone alleges you sexually assaulted them, you are charged and put before the Court. But if you sexually assault another knowing that you have a deadly disease, no crime is committed unless the virus actually transmits and the victim can prove the identity of the perpetrator to the criminal standard. With such a lack of legal accountability, it is no wonder that HIV is on the increase in Australia.

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