HIV Is Not a Crime is thought-provoking mini-doc about an often-ignored facet of the disease—the already Draconian laws put in place in the ’80s (and many still being made) are discriminatory. As our understanding and treatment of the disease morphs, so must the legal ramifications of it. As it stands in many states, positive people can be prosecuted for having safe sex and not even transmitting a disease, and many laws can be bent to make a person’s HIV status merit a more severe punishment.
“I felt it important that the voices of those who have gone through such prosecutions be heard,” says director Sean Strub, an advisor to the advocacy group The Positive Justice Project.
“It is one of the most extreme manifestations of stigma,” he continues, “when it is enshrined in the law, and is significantly driving the epidemic by discouraging people at risk from getting tested, disclosing or accessing treatment.”