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DECIDE: HIV+ Criminals?

Should being HIV-positive still be considered a death sentence? Are people who transmit it to others criminals? Or can improving access to better technology make a difference for everyone? Audiences will debate the issues before deciding on a group policy position with the DECIDE policymaking card game. The results from this event – as well as 13 others across Europe - will be fed back to European policy-makers.

The Director of Policy and Campaigns from the National AIDS Trust, Yusef Azad, and Ed Beltrami from the Crown Prosecution Service, will debate whether people who transmit HIV should be treated as criminals at a one-off event at the Dana Centre in London.
The discussion will examine the increasing number of cases which have led to individuals being criminally charged for acts which transmit or risk transmitting HIV.
Only last month, 38 year-old Sarah Jane Porter, became the latest in a string of people to be jailed for transmitting the virus, after she infected her lover with HIV.
Taking place on Thursday 25 July at the Dana Centre - the Science Museum’s stylish adults-only bar and café for discussing contemporary science - the evening will get straight to the heart of the key issues, stimulating group debate and discussion through an innovative card game, before participants decide on a policy position.

The event will offer an unprecedented chance for the public to feed their opinions directly to Senior European policymakers.

Positions could include passing a preventative law legally forcing those with HIV to disclose their status, or perhaps applying criminal law, enabling prosecution of all forms of HIV transmission - reckless or accidental.
Important questions will be raised, including: Should individuals take more responsibility for their own risks, or should governments create HIV-specific laws? Do these laws affect individual human rights and encourage discrimination? What difference does looking at HIV in a worldwide context make?
• Yusef Azad, Director of Policy and Campaigns, National AIDS Trust will discuss the implications of treating those with HIV as criminals, and how individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions. He’ll also be on hand to answer questions about HIV and AIDS.

• Ed Beltrami, Chief Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) North Wales and Chair of the CPS Policy Working Group on HIV transmission, will explain the CPS policy in relation to possibly devising a policy in relation to HIV transmission. He will be looking at it from both the side of the offender and complainant.

Dr Tom Ziessen, facilitator from the Dana Centre said: “The event is a must for anyone who wants to know more about AIDS and who wants their voice to be heard by those who make decisions.”
The Dana Centre is one of 13 institutions across 11 European countries taking part in the DECIDE project. The results from each event will be fed back to European policy-makers.


TBC | talks


Date and Time:

25 July 2006 at 6:30 pm


2 hours 30 minutes



Dana Centre
165 Queen's Gate
+44 20 79 42 40 40
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Organised by:

Science Museum
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Available from:

Tickets are FREE but must be pre-booked on: 020 7942 4040 or tickets@danacentre.org.uk

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