Brazil: HIV-Specific criminal law introduced amid media frenzy and moral panic over ‘barebacking’ gay subculture

A simply worded amendment covering ‘heinous crimes’– which currently includes murder, extortion, rape, child exploitation and spreading an epidemic that results in death – adds individuals who “transmit and infect consciously and deliberately others with the AIDS virus. (sic)” was presented to the Brazilian Parliament by the populist Congressman, Pompeo de Mattos.

The bill has considerable support thanks to an outbreak of moral panic that began with an article in the daily newspaper, O Estado de S. Paulo, that uncovered the gay ‘barebacking’ subculture and further suggested that some men were deliberately passing on HIV to unsuspecting partners. Days later, it was reported that police were now looking into the allegations.  Read More