In a guide for young people published by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the organization says it opposes laws that make it a crime for people not to tell sexual partners they have HIV. The IPPF's “Healthy, Happy and Hot” guide also tells young people who have the virus that they have a right to “fun, happy and sexually fulfilling lives.”
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
“Some countries have laws that say people living with HIV must tell their sexual partner(s) about their status before having sex, even if they use condoms or only engage in sexual activity with a low risk of giving HIV to someone else,” the guide states. “These laws violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges.”
Under the heading “Sexual Pleasure and Well-Being,” the guide declares that it is a human right and not a criminal issue as to whether a person decides if or when to disclose their HIV status, even if they engage in sexual activities.
“You know best when it is safe for you to disclose your status,” the guide states. “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. They may not want people to know they are living with HIV because of the stigma and discrimination within their community.”
The guide continues: “They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like that they are using injecting drugs or, having sex outside of marriage or having sex with people of the same gender. People in long-term relationships who find out they are living with HIV sometime fear that their partner will react violently or end the relationship.”