Consultation on Malicious Disclosure of HIV Status

The First Minister announced in the Programme for Government that the Scottish Government would bring forward new Hate Crime legislation this year, following an independent review by Lord Bracadale.

During his review, he defined a hate crime as offences “which adhere to the principle that crimes motivated by hatred or prejudice towards particular features of the victim’s identity should be treated differently from ‘ordinary’ crimes.”

Criminal Law already recognises several identity-based ‘protected’ characteristics, which include people living with HIV recognised as a disability under The Equality Act 2010.

However, we have had considerable requests for support where people have had their status disclosed maliciously or have been threatened with such actions.

Disclosure is recognised as a very personal issue, and having your status disclosed to others can cause hurt, trauma or other consequences due to the stigma that still exists so prevalently in Scotland today.

We want to hear your views on whether malicious disclosure, or the threat of malicious disclosure, of someone’s status should be consider a hate crime (or another criminal offence). We have launched a consultation to hear from people living with HIV. Please complete this confidential, short form to give us your views:

To start off, we are asking some basic demographic information so we can present the results of the consultation with nuances depending on characteristics of those responding. Your information will never be matched to your personally, and it is completely confidential. You are welcome to leave these questions blank.

We’d like to understand if the law change is necessary, what your views are and if you might have already experienced someone disclosing your status maliciously. There are no wrong answers, just let us know your thoughts.