July/August #165 : Sex Is Not a Crime

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Table of Contents

Pay It Forward: Why the World Can’t Afford to Stop Funding AIDS

Resurrection From Rwanda

Pain, Pain, Go Away


Women on HIV treatment can have HIV-negative babies

Drug Deals

Antibiotic Sense

Sex Is Not a Crime

POZ Q&A: John Tedstrom


The China Syndrome

Ring Leaders

No Mething Around

Aerial Awareness

If the Shirt Fits

Let’s Hear It for the Boys

Editor's Letter July/August 2010


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July / August 2010

Sex Is Not a Crime

Science prevails in a recent Canadian court case.

For years, people with HIV who know but don’t disclose their status before engaging in sex—even protected sex—have risked arrest in many places. Some people have been prosecuted and convicted even when no HIV transmission occurred. In some cases, including nonsexual spitting cases, people have been convicted even when there was zero risk of transmission.

Enter common sense on the bench: In May a Canadian judge ruled that an HIV-positive man could not be convicted of sexual assault for being the receptive partner in anal sex with an HIV-negative man. The negative insertive partner ran no real risk of contracting HIV, the judge held, citing a risk of 0.04 percent per act. According to the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the judge said the defendant should have disclosed his HIV before sex, “but not every unethical or reprehensible act engages the heavy hand of the law.” Here’s to replacing senseless punishment with sensible health education—encouraging people to get tested, extinguishing myths and stigma and helping people to disclose their status.  

Search: Canada, court case, arrest, transmission, convicted, sexual assault

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