Elsevier Announces the November 2009 Issue of Reproductive Health Matters on Criminalisation

New issue examines the law and criminalisation of HIV/AIDS, reproduction and sexuality

Amsterdam, 01 December 2009 – Elsevier announced today the publication of the November issue of Reproductive Health Matters. Articles in the issue look at criminalisation in relation to a range of global issues: rape and sexual violence; female genital mutilation; selling and buying sex; provision and use of modern contraception and induced abortion; homosexuality, and HIV transmission.

Recent years have seen the creation, particularly in a growing number of African countries, of laws that both protect the rights of HIV-positive people and criminalize HIV transmission and exposure. At the same time, such laws, which have been in place for up to a decade in Europe and North America, are increasingly being used to prosecute people for transmitting HIV or exposing others to HIV infection. In Africa, especially in conflict and crisis settings, criminalization of HIV transmission and exposure has found support from women's groups who argue that it might protect women and girls from being infected through sexual violence and by unfaithful partners and/or by partners who do not reveal their HIV status to them. However, because many more women in Africa are tested for HIV than men, it is possible that women are also more likely to be subject to prosecution than men.

Editor-in-Chief, Marge Berer commented, “Some of the laws concerned serve as a statement of moral condemnation in response to a behaviour that is considered wrong or a violation of human rights. Others aim to protect health and prevent harm.”

All articles on criminalisation of HIV published in this issue examine these legislative responses and contain a wealth of counter-arguments. The editor concludes that the question of how to effectively implement laws, particularly in relation to the criminalization of the kinds of behaviours covered in these papers, must be answered quite differently in relation to each practice.

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Notes to Editors:
Reproductive Health Matters, Volume 17, Issue 34, November 2010, pp 4-230.

About Reproductive Health Matters (RHM)
Reproductive Health Matters is published twice a year, in May and November in English, with editions in translation in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. RHM covers laws, policies, research and services that meet women’s reproductive health needs. Each issue focuses on a main theme and includes feature papers, topical papers on other subjects and a round-up of information from published literature.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

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