VIC government to amend HIV crime act to remove discrimination
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.