Criminalization of HIV Transmission in Africa: Ubuntu/Botho Perspective

  • Stephen Nawa University of Botswana


This paper evaluates two reasons often given for the criminalization of HIV and AIDS. The first justification is that criminalizing HIV exposure and transmission will act as a deterrent to both HIV positive and negative people. The second is that people who expose others to the risk of HIV infection ought to be punished because their actions are morally wrong. In response, the paper argues that these reasons fail to support the criminalization of HIV and AIDS transmission. In the end, the paper appeals to the African ethic of Ubuntu/Botho, to show that criminalization of HIV and AIDS fails to promote public health and respect for human persons especially those living with HIV and AIDS.