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HIV Criminalization Legal & Policy Assessment Tool

Legal, health & equity considerations related to HIV criminalization, public health surveillance & data privacy

Health Care

Scientific understanding of HIV and strategies to prevent, identify, and treat it have advanced significantly in recent years, offering an unrivaled opportunity to end new HIV infections, improve the health of people with HIV, and reduce or eliminate HIV-related health disparities.

State HIV criminalization laws often impede this progress by increasing stigma; potentially discouraging people from seeking HIV testing; and exacerbating inequities, given that these laws are disproportionately enforced against Black people and LGBTQ+ individuals. Comprehensive legal and policy efforts are needed to protect people with HIV from being unjustly exposed to stigma, discrimination, and criminal prosecution.

The HIV Criminalization Legal and Policy Assessment Tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was developed in collaboration with ChangeLab Solutions to assist state decision makers in assessing their laws’ alignment with current scientific and medical evidence on HIV, as well as HIV data privacy laws.

The assessment tool enables an objective assessment of a jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, and executive orders that control HIV surveillance and prevention. This resource can also help identify opportunities to strengthen legal and policy protections for people with HIV — protections that are also likely to benefit public health more broadly — by aligning them with evidence-based best practices.

Access the assessment tool.

Webinar Recording

HIV Is Not a Crime: A Roundtable Discussion on Legal, Health & Equity Considerations Related to HIV Criminalization

We held a webinar to honor HIV Is Not a Crime Awareness Day on February 28, 2023. We partnered with CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, gathering a dynamic team of experts at the forefront of HIV law, policy, and research to discuss the importance of HIV decriminalization; CDC’s new HIV Criminalization Legal and Policy Assessment Tool; and the path toward a more equitable future.


  • Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, director, CDC (video remarks)
  • Harold Phillips, MRP, director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy
  • Robert Suttle, MS, chair, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Council of Justice Leaders
  • Brad Sears, JD, associate dean of public interest law and founding executive director, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
  • Vineeta Gupta, MD, JD, LLM, national director, Network for Public Health Law
  • Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, director, CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
  • Sarah de Guia, JD, chief executive officer, ChangeLab Solutions