Criminalisation: Debate

Print off the pdf below, and with a partner talk through the statements on the worksheet to help you decide whether you are FOR or AGAINST making it a criminal offence to transmit HIV.


Once you have considered both sides of the argument, prepare for a formal debate about the criminalisation of HIV transmission. Your teacher will sort you into teams: one team will be in favour of criminalisation whilst the other team will be against it. The motion to debate is:

Prepare a speech to support your position and some questions to ask the other team. At the end of the debate, you will take a vote to see how your class feels about this topic.

You should undertake some research to make your arguments as strong as possible. You can use these focus questions to help you:

  • What can you find out about any prosecutions in the UK for transmitting HIV?
  • What are the stories of the individuals behind these cases?
  • How do you respond to these?

To find out the answers to these questions and to learn more about the issues of criminalisation of HIV transmission, go to:

You may find this Terence Higgins Trust report informative too, as It explores how the police have dealt with people charged with transmitting HIV.