Become an Advocate
HIV criminalization dates back to an earlier time in the epidemic, but in recent years the rate of prosecutions has increased significantly. Advocacy to combat criminalization and repeal HIV-specific statutes is underway at the local, state, federal and global level.
Here are ways you can make a difference:
- Join Sero’s efforts by making a tax-deductible contribution. Your support will help support and promote Sero’s work documenting the extent of HIV criminalization, educating the community and mobilizing advocacy, and helping people who have been prosecuted become advocates for change.
- Host a private event or public forum to educate your community and friends. See if an organization in your community is interested in hosting a public forum or, if you can, host your own event for your friends, community leaders and elected officials. Whenever possible, Sero will work with you to provide informed speakers, including those who have themselves been criminalized.
- Make sure your local AIDS service provider is well informed (to find organizations in your area, click here). Although awareness has been heightened in recent years, many service providers are still not well informed about the ramifications of criminalization, and sometimes provide contradictory statements or misinformation to their clients or local media. You can share the Sero web site with them, or request speakers, conference calls with criminalization experts, or printed materials by contacting us here. Sero personnel are always happy to provide in-person or web-based briefings with outreach and case workers and others working with people who have HIV.
- Stay informed! The HIV Justice Network is a global network of anti-criminalization activists, led by Edwin Bernard, who is based in Berlin. They are the most comprehensive resource for criminalization-related news and activism around the world and offer a free email news service.
- Join the Positive Justice Project (PJP), a consortium of organizations and individuals working to end the abuse of the criminal law against HIV-positive people. PJP includes HIV advocates, researchers, health and social service providers, media representatives, policy analysts, law enforcement personnel and people living with HIV. They engage in federal and state policy advocacy, legal resource creation and support, and to educate and mobilize communities and policy makers in the United States. PJP is a project of the Center for HIV Law & Policy, which provides ongoing coordination in conjunction with the chairpersons of PJP’s seven work groups.
- Take Action! This is now made easy with the H.R. 1586, REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act Outreach Toolkit. This toolkit provides advocates with resources that can be used in outreach effort to your state’s representatives.