AIDS Committee of Ottawa Media Statement in Response to Steven Boone sentencing
March 10th, 2016 - On March 9th, 2016, a local man living with HIV was sentenced to 14 years in prison for non-disclosure of HIV status. He was found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault and the administration of a noxious substance. In light of this sentencing, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) is issuing the following statement.
Evidence has shown repeatedly that combatting HIV is a health and medical issue not a legal or criminal issue. The criminalization of HIV non-disclosure is as an obstacle in improving public health and providing accurate HIV/AIDS education and prevention information. Key factors in HIV transmission are best addressed from a scientific and evidence-based lens rather than from a place of prejudice, judgment and AIDS-phobia. The criminalization of HIV non-disclosure perpetuates the everyday stigma and fear that those living with HIV already face.
People living with HIV need health and social supports instead of the continual threat of criminal accusations, charges and imprisonment hanging over their heads. Everyone can be empowered to accept responsibility for their own health and this pattern of criminalization undermines the AIDS Committee of Ottawa's work in providing accurate HIV prevention information, promoting testing and assisting with access to timely care and treatment.
The AIDS Committee of Ottawa provides support to those impacted by HIV in our community, as well as education and information for the general public. We offer in-house monthly HIV 101 workshops, and by request for the community. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a future workshop or to learn more about the work of the ACO.
You can also visit our web-site at www.aco-cso.ca for more information on our organization and to get connected with HIV/AIDS resources.
ACO is a social justice organization that provides education, support, outreach and advocacy to people living with/affected by/and at risk of HIV/AIDS in the Ottawa region. ACO has served the Ottawa community for over 30 years.
General Information on the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure:
HIV/AIDS Legal Services and Information
AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO)
The AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) provides support, prevention, education and outreach services from an integrated anti-racism anti-oppression social justice framework that promotes the holistic wellbeing of those living with, affected by, impacted by and at risk of HIV/AIDS in Ottawa. The AIDS Committee of Ottawa has been serving the community since 1985.
Executive Director, AIDS Committee of Ottawa
(613) 238-5014 ext. 234
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AIDS Committee of Ottawa
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