VIral Apartheid: The Rise of HIV Exceptionalism
Presented by Todd Heywood - senior reporter for the American Independent News Network
Monday, December 3rd at 12 p.m. - 136 E DeVos Place - Pew Campus
The lecture is a historical review of how HIV became one of the only diseases to attain a felony status in the U.S. and how that criminal status has impacted, shaped and directed the growth of the epidemic. The lecture is derived from research Heywood is conducting to write a book on the subject. It has also been used as the basis for his reporting on the topic.
"The evidence shows that HIV criminalization was a by-product of the "epidemic of fear" scientists warned about in the mid-80s and that such laws have little impact on HIV transmission rates," says Heywood. "The studies also indicate that the laws may in fact be feeding stigma and driving risk behaviors which transmit the virus."
The lecture will look at the political and social drivers behind HIV criminalization, then review the current scientific literature about the effectiveness of the laws on prevention. In addition, Heywood’s lecture will review evidence as to who is being criminalized by these laws. It will also review the most recent state, national and international movements to repeal HIV specific criminal laws.
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