Des lois contre le VIH

JOHANNESBOURG – « Si la loi suppose cela », dit M. Bumble dans Oliver Twist de Charles Dickens , « la loi n’est qu’une idiote ». Les propos condamnatoires de M. Bumble semblent particulièrement adaptés à un droit pénal qui incite les porteurs du VIH à ignorer qu'ils sont contaminés, donc à contaminer autrui, notamment les personnes qu'ils aiment.

Dans une tentative malavisée d’enrayer la propagation du VIH et du sida, les parlementaires ont promulgué dans une multitude de pays des lois pénales qui encouragent l'ignorance au sujet de la maladie, qui punissent ses victimes et augmentent le risque que le virus ne fasse de nouvelles victimes. Plusieurs pays d'Afrique occidentale et centrale adoptent actuellement des politiques médiocres fondées sur la loi type africaine, qui érige en infraction pénale la transmission du virus ou l’exposition au virus par une personne contaminée. Dans certains systèmes juridiques, les procureurs peuvent accuser les femmes enceintes séropositives d'avoir potentiellement exposé les enfants qu'elles portent au virus.

Il arrive certainement dans des cas rares et tragiques qu’une personne ayant le VIH contamine une autre personne dans l'intention de lui nuire. Il arrive même que des hommes contaminés par le VIH ou le sida violent des jeunes filles, croyant que des rapports sexuels avec des vierges pourraient les guérir. Des défenseurs des droits des femmes se sont prononcés en faveur de lois qui érigeraient en infraction la transmission du VIH, afin de punir les hommes qui ont tu leur séropositivité à leurs partenaires sexuels, notamment leurs femmes et petites amies. Le droit pénal existant est bien plus qu’adapté pour permettre à des systèmes de justice consentants d'infliger des sanctions appropriées contre les personnes qui ont l'intention de nuire.

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