Canada’s Supreme Court ruling on HIV disclosure is unjust, say HIV advocacy groups

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 19 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6929
  1. Barbara Kermode-Scott
  1. 1Ottawa

Canada has earned a reputation as a nation with a high rate of criminal prosecutions of people with HIV who fail to disclose their HIV positive status to sexual partners. On 5 October the Canadian Supreme Court announced new appeals judgments that will continue to allow the criminalisation of non-disclosure of HIV status.

A coalition of HIV and AIDS advocacy groups in Canada quickly condemned the Supreme Court’s judgments as “unjust,” a “major step backwards for public health and human rights,” and “a cold endorsement of AIDS-phobia.”1

Canada has no specific law requiring someone who has tested positive for HIV to reveal their condition to sexual partners. However, prosecution lawyers have successfully used …

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