If you have been accused of HIV or sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission, there are support organisations out there to which you can turn for help.
The first place to ring is THT Direct as they have a lot of experience of these cases. They can also put you in touch with your local HIV organisation for emotional support and advice and they can suggest a good solicitor.
Most solicitors will only be willing to take on a case if an arrest has already been made or if the police are already investigating. They do not give general advice if no accusation has yet been made - at least not without charging.
If you are charged, the police may offer you a 'duty solicitor'. It is important to ask the solicitor if he or she have worked on this sort of case before. If they have not, make sure they take advice from experts in this area of law before they give you any themselves.
Terrence Higgins Trust sometimes has to help people who have been badly advised at this stage to change solicitors later on. If the solicitor seems good but is inexperienced, Terrence Higgins Trust will be happy to help them get up to speed on the special issues involved.
If you think you may be prosecuted, or that an accusation may be made, it may be helpful to familiarise yourself with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) police guidelines for investigations and the general Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or Procurator Fiscal guidelines for court cases. These will help you to understand what you can expect and, equally importantly, help you to understand whether the person managing your case is being reasonable or not.
The police guidelines apply only in England and Wales; however, they are a useful source of information for people facing accusations in Scotland as well.
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 16/9/2018
Content Author: Daisy Ellis
Current Owner: Policy
Policing Transmission, Terrence Higgins Trust & NAT (2008)
Policy for prosecuting cases involving the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection, the Crown Prosecution Service
Intentional or Reckless Sexual Transmission of Infection, the Crown Prosecution Service.
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Copyright 2017 © Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527)
Company reg. no. 1778149 and a registered charity in Scotland (reg. no. SC039986). Registered office: 314-320 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DP.