Legal Issues

For many people the prospect of exposing someone to the risk of becoming infected with HIV is distressing. Many people choose to disclose their status to potential partners at the beginning of a relationship so that a decision to continue seeing each other can be made before close connections have been made.

Some people choose not to disclose their status and practise safer sex with their partner until such a point where they believe they can trust their partner to disclose their status.

In Ireland at present, it is not obligatory to disclose your HIV status to another professional person (whether an employer, social worker or medical personnel). Neither is it obligatory to disclose to sexual partners. However, it should be noted that there have been cases in many other countries including the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, and several European countries where people have been tried and convicted for the sexual transmission of HIV or exposing someone to possible infection. At the time of writing (Jan 2011), criminal prosecution for the sexual transmission of HIV remains untested in Irish law.  This situation is unlikely to remain the same given trends in other countries.

These comments are intended to provide general information only.  If you have a specific legal query in relation to HIV, we would advise you to consult a Solicitor.