NEW YORK, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a global leader in the fight to end AIDS, formally calls upon all federal, state, and local governments to put an end to the use of criminal law to target the conduct of people living with HIV and other diseases. EJAF also applauds the work of its grantee, The Center for HIV Law and Policy, for its work on behalf of Michael Johnson, a former Missouri college student sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for allegedly violating Missouri's HIV transmission and exposure statute. As a result of the Center's work, a number of national public health, legal, LGBT, and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations have signed an amicus brief supporting Michael's case and challenging the validity of the Missouri law itself.
Read full statement here.
EJAF Chairman David Furnish issued the following statement:
"Today, we stand in solidarity with the many highly-respected national organizations, medical experts, public health officials, and policy makers to demand an end to the use of criminal law to target the conduct of people living with HIV, both in Missouri and across the country.
"We believe using criminal law to target people living with HIV institutionalizes and promotes HIV stigma and is counterproductive to ending AIDS. These laws also conflict with the basic public health and human rights principles our elected and public health department officials have a moral and an affirmative obligation to uphold.
"We applaud the Center for HIV Law and Policy, one of our grantees and a national leader on HIV policy development, for filing this brief. We also applaud attorneys Lawrence S. Lustberg and Avram Frey of Gibbons P.C., one of the nation's top law firms, for providing pro bono counsel in support of Michael's appeal, and all of the organizations who are standing up on Michael's behalf, and on behalf of the millions of people who live in fear of these laws."
About the Elton John AIDS Foundation
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for evidence-based programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people's lives. Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our kind and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $349 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org. American Airlines is the official airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
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SOURCE Elton John AIDS Foundation