August 29, 2012


Leif-Ove Hansen
Member of the Social Party's gay nettwork
Boardmember of HivNorge
Louis Gay
Boardmember of LLHOA


Learning to live with HIV, whether you have been diagnosed or just have exposed yourself, is a question of mental and physical health. It is also within the boundaries of the health care system that it should be solved.

Written by: Louis Gay & Leif-Ove Hansen as privat persons.
Translated by: Louis Gay

På norsk her:

The debate during this summer about the existence of § 155 ("the HIV penal code"), in the media, is a mistake. This law was replaced by politicians already in 2009 and transferred to two new paragraphs. It has been allowed to work up to now, because the politicians wanted a closer examination through the "Syse-Committee". Discussions for or against § 155 is therefore a waste! It will be removed and replaced, anyway, in the near future.

The discussion is about whether prosecuting those living with HIV protects the society or hinder the reduction of HIV infections? Correct answer is the last one.

We want to see a reduction of infections in the future. This we attempt to do through educating and informing about the latest knowledge that are available on these issues, at any time.

Efforts to move those living with HIV and their sex life out of the criminal laws and over to the treatment of the health care system, is not something we invented ourselves. The feedback provided by the specialist health researchers and experts in Norway and internationally, provides legitimacy for the changes we are fighting for in Norway. The research from such as Law Professor Matthew Weaith from the University of London, researching the criminalization of HIV in Scandinavia and research from SERO project in the United States, provides a clear picture of how criminalization underpin stigma and together are an obstacle to a better test regime with subsequent treatment.

Anthony Fauci, head of the American infection control department (NIAD), explained himself clearly under AIDS2012 in Washington this summer. We have the tools to reverse disease development. Several countries have already succeeded, through a conscious political will to adopt testing and medication as a method. We will succeed in turning infection rates correctly in the future. It is first and foremost a political question about willingness to innovate. "The train" is set in motion. The question is whether Norway will stand on the platform or be with it.

Olafiaklinikken's (Norwegian test clinic) news about a test with answers within a minute, is a step in the right direction. Better low threshold for HIV testing and greater accessibility, combined with the reduction of the barriers which prevent people from HIV testing, is key to reducing infection rates. This is almost a world of professionals agreeing upon . Criminalization and stigma stands in the way for a new future with "test and treat" as prevention.

Attitudes and statements based on "gut feelings" and intuition that sometimes characterizes the discussion, reduce an important and evidence-based debate to a "kitchen table talk". Norway is not benefiting from this. And we'd like to see a greater participation from our HIV-specialized health care workers in this debate in the future.

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