Law & Society – 24 September 2011

Yes to the Epidemics Act: discrimination in penal cases against people with HIV eliminated.

Zurich, 23 September 2013. Swiss voters have said yes to the new Epidemics Act. This puts an end to the many years of discrimination in penal cases against people with HIV. Under the new Epidemics Act the transmission of a dangerous human disease is only prosecutable if the perpetrator acted with malicious intent.

In recent years, dozens of sentences have been issued against people with HIV if they practised unsafe sex. This applied even if their sexual partners were informed in advance of the HIV infection. The approval of the new Epidemics Act eliminates this injustice. Anyone with an HIV infection who informs his or her sexual partner of the fact need no longer fear being prosecuted for having transmitted or attempted to transmit a dangerous human disease. In future, only persons who act with malicious intent will be prosecuted. International studies show that many with an HIV infection do not inform their sexual partners about or do not take an HIV test for fear of being prosecuted. The Positive Council is relieved at the outcome of the vote and pleased that we have taken a step forward in the fight against discrimination against people with HIV.

Further information: www.positivrat.ch

Contact: Bettina Maeschli, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 076 412 33 35

Secretariat: Vinicio Albani, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 076 373 34 86

Media release EpG.pdf

The Positive Council is a specialist organization which represents the interests of people with HIV. The Positive Council consists of people with HIV or their relatives, or specialists who express solidarity with them. Its members have professional or personal knowledge of and experience in the medical, care, psychosocial, political or PR spheres. The Positive Council is a non-profit association based in Zurich.