HIV is NOT a crime: AIDS Activist Sean Strub bringing his Message of Injustice to Boise

When a person gets arrested for not disclosing his or her HIV status, it’s big news. Local media outlets love to present sensationalized, one-sided pieces meant to send fear and panic throughout a community.  By doing so they play right into many of the stereotypes and stigma that has surrounded the virus for decades.

It’s a subject that activist Sean Strub takes personally. Strub was diagnosed with HIV over thirty years ago and since than has been working to change hearts, minds and laws when it comes to HIV and AIDS in America.

From producing a hit Broadway play, to running for office to founding several magazines including POZ, no medium seems to big of a canvas for the activist to use in order to get his message out.

Strub will be bringing his latest project, a documentary short titled HIV is not a crime to Idaho.

According to Creative Visions Foundation, “Most HIV criminalization prosecutions are for not disclosing one’s HIV+ status, or for not being able to prove disclosure, prior to engaging in an intimate sexual act.  Actual HIV transmission is rarely a factor in these prosecutions and even the degree of potential risk is not typically relevant.”

The film tells the stories of three individuals who have found themselves caught in the criminalization trap.

People like Nick Rhoads of Iowa.

According to criminalHIVtransmission.blogspot.com, a blog that tracks such stories,”Rhodes was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to 25 years in prison because he didn’t disclose he was HIV-positive during a one-night stand with another man, despite using condoms and having an undetectable viral load.  Following intervention from human rights groups and HIV advocates, Nick’s 25 year sentence was eventually suspended, but he remains on parole and on the sex offenders list.”

During his presentation the film, Strub hopes to raise such questions as,”How does the criminalization of HIV affect its prevention? Are the laws preventing or facilitating the spread of HIV?”

According to a press release, the event will be held Thursday, May 3rd from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at The Law Center, located at 525 W Jefferson in Boise.

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to jamie.Strain@fmridaho.org or call 208-514-2505 Ext. 6079.

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