Two leading HIV charities have launched a guide for people living with HIV in England and Wales explaining criminal prosecutions for HIV transmission.

The guide, titled Prosecutions for HIV Transmission, was written by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).

It explains the law around HIV transmission and provides practical advice for anyone accused of HIV transmission or considering making a complaint against someone for HIV transmission.

Since 2003, people living with HIV in England and Wales have been prosecuted for the reckless transmission of HIV. The Crown Prosecution Service recently clarified the law around prosecutions for HIV transmission.

usef Azad, director of policy and campaigns at NAT, said: “Today the majority of investigations into HIV transmission do not go to court but they can still cause much distress for all involved.

“NAT is still campaigning for an end to prosecutions for reckless transmission of HIV through consensual sex. But while prosecutions occur we are working with THT to ensure that all those involved – lawyers, prosecutors, police, support organisations, healthcare workers and most importantly people living with HIV understand the law.

“Everybody living with HIV in England and Wales should read this leaflet.”

Lisa Power, head of policy, Terrence Higgins Trust, added: “It’s really important that everyone with HIV knows what the law says and does in relation to their lives. We’ve supported many people – both complainants and defendants – who got involved in prosecutions for passing HIV without taking proper advice and regretted it later. This leaflet would have helped them.”

As well as producing guidance for individuals living with HIV, the two charities are working to ensure police investigate allegations of reckless or intentional HIV transmission appropriately. THT recently produced the report Policing Transmission which is available at: www.tht.org.uk/policingtransmission