Canadian Supreme Court Upholds But Narrows HIV Criminalization

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that failing to disclose one’s HIV status to a sexual partner is not always a crime, but has maintained that the criminalizing law can be enforced. According to the Court, sex partners with a low viral load who wear a condom are not committing a crime if they hide their HIV status. Despite this legal wiggle room, HIV advocates are disappointed that laws against rape are still being used to stigmatize people with HIV. Various studies have shown that HIV criminalization laws discourage many people from getting tested, seeking care, or using protection during sex.