Until recently disability hate crime guidance excluded people living with HIV, and the definition of disability in the legislation of the ‘Criminal Justice Act 2003’ was also unclear.
“The publication of this revised guidance brings to an end the legal disadvantage faced by people living with HIV who are victims of hate crime’ said Deborah Jack of the National Aids Trust.
‘The CPS has sent out a clear message that HIV-related hate crime will not be tolerated,” She added.
The revision means that if a person is a victim of a crime because of their HIV status, this can now be considered an aggravating factor by the courts, leading to a longer sentences.
Nadine Tilbury, Senior Legal Advisor for the CPS, said: “Crimes against people living with HIV which are motivated by hostility towards their status have no place in our society and we will prosecute those responsible robustly.”
This outcome comes after a two-year campaign by lead by NAT and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Nadine Tilbury added “The assistance of the NAT in providing data and expertise during our review of our legal guidelines on prosecuting cases of disability hate crime was invaluable.’