Track Record

Writer and Editor

My writing and editing skills have been honed through more than twenty-five years of print and online journalism. This site includes selections of my work as a writer and editor over the past few years. In addition, a very small selection of my past writings on HIV, sexual heath, gay life and popular culture, published between 1986 and 2008 can be found at

I began contributing to and AIDS Treatment Update in 2002, and since then  have contributed more than more than 400 articles for and over 60 articles for AIDS Treatment Update / HIV Treatment Update. Examples of both can be seen on my Writing page.

Betwen 2003 and 2009, I edited more than 50 editions of AIDS Treatment Update / HIV Treatment Update, which provided me with substantial editing, commissioning, subediting and proofreading skills.

Throughout 2009 and 2010, I wrote and edited a new, comprehensive, internationally-focused resource on HIV and the Criminal Law for NAM. The resource is online at and also available as an A5 book. 
In 2007 I wrote and edited my first book on the subject, Criminal HIV Transmission, and continue to write and edit of a blog with the same name. 

I have also edited two editions of NAM’s HIV Treatments Training Manual and contributed to many of NAM's other manuals and resources, including recent editions of Living with HIV (; HIV transmission and testing (section on viral load and risk of transmission); and Social and legal issues for people with HIV (section on transmission of HIV as a criminal offence)

My HIV writing has also appeared in: AIDS Care; Attitude; Baseline; GMHC Treatment Issues; The GuardianHIV Australia; HIV Medicine; HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review; IAPAC Monthly; IAS Newsletter; Medscape; NATAP Reports; Positively Women; Positive Nation; and POZ magazine.

Community and policy advocate

I believe strongly in the GIPA principle and work hard to ensure that the voices of people living with HIV are heard when punitive, rather than supportive, laws and policies are used against us in the name of public health. 

In September 2010, I gave a series of presentations (see Public Speaker, below) highlighting global advocacy against 
laws and prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission in the United States and Canada: the launch of the Positive Justice Project in New York, and at two meetings to launch the Canadian civil society campaign for prosecutorial guidelines for HIV non-disclosure – 

In July 2010, I co-organised and presented at a meeting for advocates working to end laws and prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.  
This meeting prior to the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS2010) was held to:

• Understand where and how laws and prosecutions are happening;
• Hear how different solutions to complex issues are being found in the international arena, in national policy, and in case law judgments; and
• Explore pragmatic advocacy strategies in order to move towards the goal of decriminalisation.

At the meeting, I launched HIV Action (Anti CriminalisaTIOn Network), an international network of individuals and organisations working to end criminal prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and non-intentional transmission.

Throughout 2010, I worked with GNP+ to produce a policy framework for Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention,

 the new name for a revised concept of HIV prevention for and by people living with HIV, formerly known as 'positive prevention'. It emphasises that responsibility for HIV prevention should be shared, and that policies and programmes for people living with HIV should be designed and implemented with the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV.

Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention focuses on improving and maintaining the dignity of the individual living with HIV, which has a positive impact on that individual's physical, mental, emotional and sexual health, and which, in turn, creates an enabling environment that will reduce the likelihood of new HIV infections. 

By linking together the social, health and prevention needs of the individual living with HIV within a human rights framework, Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention results in a more efficient use of resources with outcomes that are more responsive to the needs of people living with HIV, with additional benefits for their partners, families and communities.

In June 2010, I worked with GNP+ as a presenter, participant and  rapporteur for a consultation on the implications of new HIV prevention technology research and development for people living with HIV, held in Amsterdam. Following the meeting, I produced an advocacy agenda for people living with HIV regarding new prevention technologies such as the use of HIV treatment as HIV prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and microbicides.

In April 2009, I worked with GNP+ and UNAIDS as the rapporteur for an international technical consultation on 'positive prevention' held in Tunisia. The report, Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention helped change the paradigm from an overly simplistic approach to prevention for people living with HIV to a holistic, human rights, person-centred approach.

In 2008 and again in 2009, I worked with colleagues from all over the world on GNP+'s Global Criminalisation Scan which documents laws, judicial practices and case studies of the criminalisation of HIV exposure and transmission. I also wrote a series of in-depth articles exploring various aspects of criminalisation for the website.

In October 2008, I authored a paper for NAT (National AIDS Trust) that aimed to combat the numerous allegations that have been made about health tourism to the UK both in general and in relation to HIV. These claims have affected media and popular perception, as well as Government policy, particularly on entitlement to NHS care. Read  'The Myth of HIV Health Tourism'

n early 2007, I worked with experts in phylogenetic analysis, HIV policy and law to produce two important papers about the use of scientific evidence in criminal HIV transmission cases. 
Phylogenetic analysis – a complex scientific process that estimates how closely two or more HIV strains are genetically related – has been used to ‘prove’ HIV transmission in some criminal prosecutions in several jurisdictions. However, these papers explain in detail why criminal investigations of alleged sexual HIV transmission cannot be proved conclusively by this kind of scientific evidence alone.

‘HIV forensics: The use of phylogenetic analysis as evidence in criminal investigation of HIV transmission’ (NAM/National AIDS Trust) details the limitations, and potential pitfalls, of using phylogenetic analysis as forensic evidence. The briefing paper also makes several recommendations about the way that expert witnesses should carry out phylogenetic analysis for HIV forensic purposes, as well as how the results are interpreted. It also includes the legal background to criminal HIV transmission prosecutions, and how and when legal precedent for phylogenetic analysis was established in several jurisdictions.

‘HIV forensics: pitfalls and acceptable standards in the use of phylogenetic analysis as evidence in criminal investigations of HIV transmission’ was a somewhat shorter and slightly revised version of the original briefing paper, published in the September 2007 issue of the medical journal, HIV Medicine.

As a member of the UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB), I have represented the community of people living with HIV on the writing committee of two British HIV Assocation (BHIVA) guidelines: Treatment of HIV-infected adults with antiretroviral therapy (2006) and Management of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of people living with HIV infection (2008).

Public speaker

In recent years, I have been interviewed for print, radio and TV (see In The Media), and invited to speak at UK and international conferences, primarily about the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.

These include:

Ninth Nordic Patient Meeting on HIV, Amsterdam, November 2010
Presentation and discussion: 'Criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission: a European perspective.'

Limiting the Law: Silence, Sex and Science, Toronto, September 2010
Presentation and panel discussion: 'Contextualising criminalisation in Canada: the way forward.'

Criminalization of HIV Exposure, Ottawa, September 2010
Presentation and panel discussion: 'Contextualising criminalisation in Canada: the way forward'.

This meeting was reported on by (->

Positive Justice Project launch, New York, September 2010
Presentation and discussion: 'Global anti-criminalisation advocacy 2000-2010.'

My Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded 

XVIII International AIDS Conference, Vienna, July 2010
Presentation: 'Where HIV is a crime, not just a virus: a global ranking of prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.' (THAF0201)

Criminalisation of HIV Exposure and Transmission: Global Extent, Impact and The Way Forward, Vienna, July 2010
Presentation and discussion: 'The way forward'

Consultation: Implications of NPT research for people living with HIV, Amsterdam, June 2010
Presentation and discussion: '
Treatment-as-prevention models: What are the opportunities and challenges around treatment as prevention?'

My Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded from the GNP+ website (

Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium, Seminar series, National University of Ireland Maynooth, December 2009
Presentation and discussion: 'HIV Forensics: from the lab to the courtroom'

British HIV Assocation (BHIVA) Autumn Conference, London, October 2008
Presentation and panel discussion: 'Undetectable = Uninfectious?'

This presentation was reported on by (->
My Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded from the UKCAB website. (-> UKCAB)

XVII International AIDS Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, August 2008
Presentation and panel discussion: Criminalizing HIV Transmission - Good, Bad, or Pointless? (THGS01)

C11 CHAPS Conference, Nottingham, UK, March 2008
Presentation and panel discussion: Taking responsibility - reactions to criminal prosecutions

This presentation was written up in the July 2008 edition of THT's Issue magazine. (pdf)

VIII AIDS Impact Conference, Marseille, France, July 2007
Opening plenary session: Reckless law? The impact of criminal prosecutions for sexual HIV transmission in the UK. (Abstract 656)

This presentation was reported on in the following articles:

C10 CHAPS Conference, London, UK, March 2007
Presentation: Forensic evidence in criminal prosecution cases

© 2008 - 2011 Edwin J Bernard