January/February #185 : Oh No Canada - by Trenton Straube

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Heart to Heart

Myths of Black MSM

From the Editor

Sowing the Seeds of Love


Letters-January/February 2013


Standing Against Stigma

POZ Planet

Storm Troopers

Say What-Fran Lebowitz

Oh No Canada

Signs of the Times

For Your Consideration...

Climb Every Mountain

Grindr IQ

Care and Treatment

Using Condoms As Directed

English Lessons

Comprehensive Care Is Possible

HIV, Meds and Booze

Research Notes

Cure: HDAC Inhibitors May Need Combos

Prevention: Revisiting HIV in Semen

Treatment: New Fusion Inhibitor, Integrase Inhibitor

POZ Survey Says

Full Disclosure

POZ Heroes

Minister of HIV

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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January / February 2013

Oh No Canada

by Trenton Straube

The Supreme Court requires more HIV disclosure

The Supreme Court of Canada took a step backward October 5. It decided that people living with HIV have a legal duty to disclose their status before any sexual activity that poses a “realistic possibility” of transmitting the virus. Failure to do so can result in a conviction of aggravated sexual assault. The only time disclosure is not required is during vaginal intercourse in which a condom is used and the positive person has a low viral load. All three requirements must be met.

The court’s earlier ruling, in 1998, required disclosure only when a “significant risk” of transmission was posed. But what, exactly, defined “significant risk”? Most lower courts ruled that if you used a condom, you didn’t have to disclose. By hearing two appeals cases, the Supreme Court was expected to clarify this.

No such luck. As Cecile Kazatchkine, a policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, points out, no one knows how the new decision will be applied to anal sex or oral sex. “There is uncertainty,” she says, “and it will be tested on the backs of people living with HIV.” That means more prosecutions, she notes, because “almost any risk is a ‘realistic possibility’” of transmission.

Search: Canadian Supreme Court, disclosure, HIV criminialization, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Cecile Kazatchkine

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