News & Events
A tale of two epidemics: HIV and unjust criminalization
This week, some 30,000 people from around the world are gathering in Washington at the International AIDS Conference. One concern already attracting attention is the global phenomenon of lawmakers resorting to criminal prosecutions in cases where people are alleged to have not disclosed their HIV-positive status to a sexual partner, regardless of the risk of transmission.
The latest alarm was sounded by the UN-supported Global Commission on HIV and the Law, which describes the overly broad use of criminal law in such cases as “fundamentally unjust, morally harmful, and virtually impossible to enforce with any semblance of fairness.”
Indeed, the epidemic of over-criminalization is a growing menace to public health and human rights here in Canada — threatening not only those members of our communities who live with HIV, but ultimately putting all Canadians at greater risk and undermining our collective efforts to end AIDS. We already hold the dubious distinction of being a world leader in criminally prosecuting people living with HIV, often based on he-said/she-said accusations of not disclosing their status to a sexual partner. Now prosecutors are trying to make the situation even worse.
What’s the problem, some might ask? Shouldn’t the law always require you to disclose if you have HIV?
A link to the full article is provided below.