New guidance on investigating criminal transmission of HIV


  • Jo Whelan
  • Medical News
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  • Updated guidance for police on investigating the potential criminal transmission of HIV has been published.
  • The need for advice on PEP and the role of GUM clinics in contact tracing are emphasised.

The National Aids Trust has worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to produce 'ACPO Investigation Guidance relating to the Criminal Transmission of HIV'. The Guidance aims to end inappropriate police investigations and ensure when they are considered necessary, that police forces and officers investigate allegations of criminal HIV transmission in a way which is:

  • consistent with CPS prosecution policy,
  • appropriately informed about HIV from both a clinical and a social perspective
  • respectful of human rights and confidentiality, and
  • which does not prolong an investigation longer than necessary.

The guidance contains a flowchart setting out the investigative process for police once an allegation is made. Police are reminded that people worried about exposure in the previous 72 hours must be advised to go immediately to either an open sexual health clinic or the nearest Accident and Emergency Department to ask for PEP. They state that where third parties emerge during a police investigation whose HIV status is of interest to the police, initial contact with the individuals should be made by a GUM clinic rather than by the police themselves.