Ontario to curb prosecution of HIV non-disclosure cases
The Ontario government announced that Crown attorneys will no longer prosecute cases of HIV-positive people who don’t disclose their status to their sexual partner when the person who is HIV-positive has had a suppressed viral load for six months, The Star reports.
The announcement was a response to the federal justice department’s report titled “Criminal Justice System’s Response to Non-Disclosure of HIV,” released last week.
The report, backed by analysis from the Public Health Agency of Canada, concludes that the criminal law should generally not apply to people who are on HIV treatment (which suppresses their viral load and makes transmission unlikely), are not on treatment, but use condoms, or engage only in oral sex.
“The realistic possibility of a transmission test is likely not met in these circumstances,” the report concludes.
The federal report recognized that HIV “is first and foremost a public health issue,” and concluded that non-disclosure prosecutions disproportionately affect people who are Indigenous, gay and Black.