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HIV is Not a Crime conference June 2 in Grinnell, Iowa
HIV, LGBT, and social justice groups unite to end HIV criminalization
2014-03-05

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From a Press Release

GRINNELL, IA, March 5, 2014 — The first-ever national HIV is Not a Crime conference will be held from June 2nd to 5th, 2014, at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, to unite and train advocates living with HIV and allies from across the country in the effort to end the criminalization of people with HIV.

"HIV criminalization imposes a profound injustice not only on people living with HIV but also on their family and friends," explained Iowa resident Tami Haught, the conference coordinator and a person living with HIV. "At the Grinnell gathering, we want to bring together advocates to engage in the next stage of the fight for equal justice for people living with HIV."

The HIV is Not a Crime conference will provide practical training to support grassroots organizing, communi- ty education, media training and familiarity with the legal, medical and public health issues involved to enable activists to better advocate for criminalization reform in their home states.

HIV criminalization refers to the wrongful use of one's HIV positive status in criminal prosecutions, which has led to people with HIV being charged under HIV-specific criminal statutes, or under general criminal statutes, including for behaviors that pose no or little risk of HIV transmission. Sentencing in these cases has sometimes involved decades in prison and/or required sex offender registration, including in circumstances when there was no risk of HIV transmission.

These laws, policies and practices contribute to the HIV epidemic by driving people away from public health and treatment programs and by discouraging at-risk individuals from getting tested.

The coalition organizing the HIV Is Not A Crime conference includes AIDS Foundation of Chicago & HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Black AIDS Institute, Community HIV/ Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network, Family Planning Council of Iowa, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Global Net- work of People Living with HIV North America, HIV Justice Network, Housing Works, Lambda Legal, Loui- siana AIDS Advocacy Network, My Fabulous Disease, One Iowa, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, National Minority AIDS Council, Positive Iowans Taking Charge, Posi- tive Women's Network-USA, Sero Project, Sociologist AIDS Network, The Project of Primary Health Care, and U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus and others ( list still in formation ). To get involved or request informa- tion on the conference program, registration, and scholarship details, contact conference@seroproject.com . ###

www.HIVisNotACrime.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Reed Vreeland, Communications Coordinator

Reed.Vreeland@SeroProject.com 917-573-6328

LIST OF CO-ORGANIZERS ( list still in formation ):

AIDS Foundation of Chicago & HIV Prevention Justice Alliance,

AIDS United,

American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa,

Black AIDS Institute,

Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network,

Gay Men's Health Crisis,

Global Network of People Living with HIV North America,

Family Planning Council of Iowa,

HIV Justice Network,

Housing Works,

Lambda Legal,

Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network,

My Fabulous Disease,

One Iowa,

National Minority AIDS Council,

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs,

National Center for Lesbian Rights,

Positive Iowans Taking Charge,

Positive Women's Network-USA,

Sero Project,

Sociologist AIDS Network,

The Project of Primary Health Care,

and U.S People Living with HIV Caucus


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