A new guide to benefit Queensland people living with HIV has been released to help them understand legal issues around disclosure of their HIV status.
The Disclosing your HIV status guide, prepared by the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) in partnership with Queensland Positive People (QPP), contains the most up-to-date and accurate information about relevant law around disclosure in Queensland.
Some of the legal issues covered in the guide include in areas such as employment; sex and relationships; housing; travel; finances; police and the courts; and more.
QPP executive officer Simon O’Connor said disclosure of HIV status is one of the main areas where the law affects the lives of people living with HIV.
“As a PLHIV organisation, we believe that empowering our community with accessible knowledge can play a fundamental role in reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV,” he said.
“This guide acts as a tool to assist Queenslanders to take ownership of their health and to better understand the implications when considering disclosure in relation to the law in Queensland.”
The easy-to-read resource may also assist people such as counsellors and social workers who offer support services for people living with HIV, QPP said.
But the guide does not contain legal advice and is not intended to be a substitute for it. The guide recommends people seek further legal advice before taking any action.
The booklet will be distributed to sexual health clinics, LGBTIQ+ services, S100 prescribers and other external service providers.
The HIV AIDS Legal Centre (HALC), based in New South Wales, is a not-for-profit community legal centre offering free legal assistance to people in New South Wales with HIV or Hepatitis-related legal matters.
Last week, it was announced that the Queensland government was removing AIDS from the state’s notifiable conditions schedule, to shift the focus to ending the transmission of HIV.
Anti-retroviral treatments for HIV, the first of which were introduced 22 years ago, lower the viral load of HIV in the blood of a person to undetectable levels, which means they can’t transmit HIV to their partners and do not develop AIDS.