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IN ADVANCE OF LANDMARK SUPREME COURT CASE, SUPPORTERS WORLDWIDE CALL ON CANADA TO STOP CRIMINALIZING PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV

Monday, February 6, 2012 - Canadian criminal law requires people living with HIV to disclose their status before engaging in behaviour that involves a "significant risk" of transmitting the virus. Yet people have been charged, and convicted for not disclosing their status, even though their activity did not pose a significant risk of HIV transmission. This is a miscarriage of justice. Further, it has contributed to a climate marked by anxiety, fear, stigma and misinformation that undermines HIV counselling, education and prevention efforts. This puts all Canadians at greater risk.

On February 8, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear two landmark cases on this important issue. We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that the Court  use this opportunity to explicitly reconfirm that people living with HIV are not criminals in cases where the threshold of significant risk is not met - including cases where condoms are used or the HIV positive person was being successfully treated with antiretroviral drugs. We ask that the Court instruct lower courts that significant risk must be determined on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, not on assumptions, prejudice or fear.

Finally, we call on the provincial and territorial Attorneys General to follow suit and adopt guidelines to limit prosecutions in cases of HIV non-disclosure. These prosecutions are not helpful in putting an end to this epidemic, and the radical over-extension of the criminal law is counter-productive and damaging.

-30-

Contact:Janet Butler-McPhee
Director of Communications, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Telephone: +1 416 595-1666 ext. 228,
jbutler@aidslaw.ca


Signatory List:

Acción Ciudadana Contra el Sida Venezuela (ACCSI)

Action Canada for Population and Development / Action Canada pour la population et le développement

Action positive VIH/sida

African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO) / Conseil des Africains et Caraïbéens sur le VIH/sida en Ontario (CACVO)

Africans in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA)

Afrihealth Info rmation Projects / Afrihealth Optonet Association

AIDES

AIDS Action Now!

AIDS Committee of Durham Region

AIDS Committee of Guelph and Wellington County

AIDS Committee of Ottawa / Comité du sida d'Ottawa

AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)

AIDS Community Care Montréal / Sida bénévoles Montréal

AIDS and Human Rights Research Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

AIDS Network

AIDS New Brunswick / Sida Nouveau-Brunswick

AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan, Inc.

AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

All Nations Hope AIDS Network

Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP)

L'A.R.C.H.E. de l'Estrie

Asia pacific network of people living with HIV/AIDS (APN+)

Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate Program

Associação Mulher, Lei e Desenvolvimento (MULEIDE)

Association of Substitution Treatment Advocates of Ukraine (ASTAU)

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations / Fédération australienne des organisations du SIDA

B.C. Civil Liberties Association

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP)

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre

Bruce House

Bureau local d'intervention traitant du sida (BLITS)

Bureau régional d'action sida (BRAS Outaouais)

CACTUS-Montréal

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network / Réseau canadien Autochtone du SIDA

Canadian AIDS Society / Société canadienne du sida

Canadian Associaiton of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC) / Association canadienne des infirmières et infirmiers en sidologie (ACIIS)

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Canadian Harm Reduction Network

Canadian Hemophilia Society / Société canadienne de l'hémophilie

Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR)

Central Alberta AIDS Network Society

Centre des R.O.S.É.S. de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Centre for Health Policy and Innovation with the World Health Organization

Centre for the Study of AIDS

Centre Sida Amitié

CF "VIRTUS", Ukraine

Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-Sida)

Coalition Internationale Sida (Coalition PLUS)

Coalition Sida des Sourds du Québec

Corporation Félix Hubert d'Hérelle

Danish AIDS Foundation (AIDS Fondet)

Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe e.V

Development for Peace Education Lesotho

Dopamine

ÉMISS-ère

European Aids Treatment Group (EATG)

Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Université d'Ottawa / Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Fondation d'aide directe - sida Montréal

Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ)

Fundación Huésped

Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) / Forum mondial sur les HSH et le VIH

Global Network of People living with HIV - North America / Réseau mondial des personnes vivant avec le VIH - Section nord-américaine

Global Network of Sex Work Projects

Groupe d'entraide à l'intention des personnes séropositives itinérantes et toxicomanes (Organisme GEIPSI)

Groupe sida Genève

Hassle Free Clinc

HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)

HIV Justice Network / Réseau Justice VIH

Intervention Régionale et Info rmation sur le Sida, Estrie (IRIS Estrie)

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) / Coalition interagence sida et développement (CISD)

International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW Global) / Communauté internationale des femmes vivant avec le VIH

John Mordaunt Trust

M.A.I.N.S - Bas St. Laurent

M.I.E.L.S-Quebec

Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project

Maison Plein Cour

Maison Re-Né

Médecins du Monde Canada

Most at Risk Populations' Society in Uganda

National AIDS Trust (NAT)

National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS

Observatoire du sida et des sexualités

Ontario AIDS Network

Peel HIV/AIDS Network

People's Health Movement ( South Africa )

Pharmacies Martin Duquette

Pivot Legal Society

Le Planning Familial (MFPF)

Point de Repères

PolitiQ - Queers solidaires

Portail VIH/sida du Québec

Positive Living BC

Positive Women's Network

Positive Vibes Trust

POZCO

Public Personalities Against AIDS Trust

Queensland Positive People

Registered Nurses' Association of Ontartio

Santamaria Fundación

Scarlet Alliance , the Australian Sex Workers Association

School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town

Sero-stigma & Empowerment Resource Organization (SERO)

Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD)

St. Stephen's Community House

Stella, l'amie de Maimie

Tanzania Network of Women living with HIV and AIDS (TNW+)

Toronto HIV/AIDS Network (THN)

Toronto People With AIDS Foundation

University Research Chair in Forensic Nursing, School of Nursing , Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa

Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society

Warning

Wezesha

Women and Law In Southern Africa Research and Education Trust

YouthCo

 

About the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Since 1992, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network ( www.aidslaw.ca ) has been promoting the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research, legal and policy analysis, education, and community mobilization.  The Legal Network is Canada 's leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV/AIDS.


Reproduced with permission - "Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network"

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
www.aidslaw.ca


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