Zimbabwe decriminalises HIV transmission
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
In March 2022, the Zimbabwean government announced that criminalisation of HIV transmission will be repealed as part of a new Marriage Act about to be signed into law. [1. 2]
This recognises that such laws actively reduce the willingness to test, and block access to effective treatment.
This is a very progressive move and positive signal to the 130 countries that still criminalise HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.
Approximately 15 million people live in Zimbabwe and nearly every family is expected to have had personal experience of HIV. Generally, social change is only ever legislated after popular opinion has already changed.
Access to ART is also >90%, with approximately 1.3 million estimated to be HIV positive, with 1.2 million on ART.
- UNAIDS. UNAIDS welcomes parliament’s decision to repeal the law that criminalizes HIV transmission in Zimbabwe. (18 March 2022).
- All Afrika. Zimbabwe: Decriminalisation of HIV Transmission a Milestone Development. (21 March 2022).