Yale University

Criminalization of HIV Exposure Work Group

Prison CellCIRA formed the Criminalization of HIV Exposure Work Group in July 2010 under the previous Law, Policy and Ethics Core whose functions are now integrated across the Center. The purposes of this multidisciplinary collaboration of policy makers, advocates, researchers, public health officials, and other relevant stakeholders are to examine critical public health, ethical, and legal issues around criminalization, discuss the ethical and public health implications of the criminal law, and develop research questions pertaining to criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission in North America. 

Current work group members:

  1. Aziza Ahmed - Northeastern University School of Law
  2. Scott Burris - Temple University, Beasley School of Law
  3. Mandeep Dhaliwal - Global Commission on HIV and the Law, United Nations Development Programme
  4. Jean-Laurent Domingue - School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
  5. E. Jennifer Edelman - Yale School of Medicine
  6. Derek Evans - University of Connecticut Health Center
  7. Carrie Foote - School of Liberal Arts, Indiana University-Purdue University
  8. Anna Forbes - Independent Consultant
  9. Carol Galletly - Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin
  10. Catherine Hanssens - Center for HIV Law and Policy
  11. Dini Harsono - Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University
  12. Amira Hasenbush - The Wiliams Institute, UCLA School of Law
  13. Taylor Henley - Yale Law School
  14. Ryane Hill - Hamilton County Public Health, Ohio
  15. Trevor Hoppe - SUNY University at Albany, Sociology
  16. Heidi Jenkins - Connecticut Department of Public Health
  17. Kaveh Khoshnood - Yale School of Public Health
  18. David LaBahn - Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  19. Shawn Lang - AIDS Connecticut
  20. Stephen Latham - Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
  21. Zita Lazzarini - University of Connecticut Health Center
  22. Robert J. Levine - Yale School of Medicine
  23. Alice Miller - Yale Law School
  24. Terrance Moore – National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors
  25. Eric Mykhalovskiy - Department of Sociology, York University, Toronto
  26. Adedotun Ogunbajo - Brown University School of Public Health
  27. Elaine O'Keefe - Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University
  28. Jim Pettinelli - Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University
  29. J. Craig Phillips - School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
  30. Steven Pinkerton - Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin
  31. Christine Ricardo - Yale Global Health Justice Partnership
  32. Michael Ulrich - Boston University School of Public Health
  33. Kristen Underhill - Columbia Law School
  34. Gretchen Weiss - National Association of County and City Health Officials


CIRA's Criminalization of HIV Exposure Work Group is open to all who are interested. Nomination from current members is preferred. For more information, please contact Dini Harsono.

2011 Work Session:

CIRA hosted a Research Agenda Setting Work Session on November 3 and 4, 2011. The work session aimed to articulate a research agenda around HIV criminalization drawing on the expertise of relevant stakeholders. Work group members collaborated to carry out a number of activities and initiatives following the work session:

  1. Maintained a working annotated bibliography that provides an overview of literature on ethical, policy, legal, and public health issues relating to criminalization (published in Feb 2012)
  2. Published a research and policy agenda (Lazzarini et al. Am J Public Health. 2013 Aug;103(8):1350-1353)
  3. Developed research proposals addressing critical research questions (Latham, S., Galletly, C. and Lazzarini, Z.)
  4. Published a literature review of empirical studies on criminalization in the United States (Harsono et al. AIDS Behav. 2016 Sep 7)
  5. Developed prosecutorial guidelines and convened prosecutors roundtable (lead by Hanssens, C. and LaBahn, D.)

2013 Work Session:

On June 6-7, 2013, CIRA hosted the second in-person work session themed Advancing the Research Agenda and Emerging Issues. Work group members and invited participants reviewed the work group's productivity and discussed emerging issues relevant to the impact of criminalization of HIV exposure on public health and HIV prevention efforts. Following the meeting, the group's activities were focused on two key topics: 

  1. Practices and ethical issues around expanded use of HIV surveillance data
  2. Overlap of 4 areas of criminal laws (sex offender registration, sex work, HIV exposure criminalization, civil commitment provision).

2016 Work Session:

The third in-person work session was held at CIRA on April 7-8, 2016 and attended by 27 participants from the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of the two-day meeting, the group reviewed the current status of research, policy, advocacy and laws on HIV exposure and non-disclosure in North America, developed priorities for future work with emphasis on additional research to impact the continuing morass of legal and public health issues surrounding these laws, and identified opportunities for research and other collaboration. The Work Session closed with a public forum featuring presentations on criminalization as a women’s issue, nurses' knowledge of criminalization laws in North America, the racialization of HIV criminalization in mainstream media in Canada, and restoring science in public health law.