Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Punishing HIV transmitters won't stop disease: Kirby

High Court judge Michael Kirby has told an overseas conference that punishing those who transmit HIV to others is unlikely to put a stop to rising rates of infection.

Speaking at a criminal law conference in Dublin, Justice Kirby addressed the growing rates of HIV infection in Australia and overseas as well as the increased pressure for the transmission of the virus to be criminalised.

He issued a warning to law makers against the use of counter productive laws that punish those who transmit HIV.

Justice Kirby said because of his sexuality, he found himself at the centre of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and lost a number of friends to the disease.

He said the criminalisation of HIV transmission is one of the most important challenges facing the criminal law sector and said punitive measures are unlikely to succeed given there is no effective vaccine.

No comments: