It's been over twelve years since I first set out to make the documentary, This Child of Mine, about parents who faced criminal charges of child neglect, abuse and homicide for refusing HIV medications for their kids, and choosing to breastfeed.
The video below, Perpetuating Stigma, tells another story of the criminalization of HIV, particularly as it affects women. In the US, where 36 states have laws criminalizing HIV and exposure, women have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and sex crimes simply for not disclosing their HIV status. And yes, people have done hard time for these sex crimes.
Let me say that again. Sex crimes. Meaning if you are HIV+ and have consensual sex but fail to mention your status, you could be prosecuted as a sex offender. Lumped in with with rapists and child molesters, and forced to live with the same stigma that goes along with that prestigious title for the rest of your life.