When will justice department announce new approach to prosecuting cases of HIV non-disclosure?



Now Toronto


 

An Indigenous woman with HIV has had her appeal on an aggravated sexual assault conviction dismissed by the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The decision handed down on June 29 comes as a blow to the growing movement of lawyers and human rights advocates pushing to change laws that they say criminalize people with HIV, in particular vulnerable women. 

Activists have been calling for a moratorium on all new prosecutions of HIV-non-disclosure cases.

She was convicted in 2014 for failing to disclose her HIV status to a friend she had unprotected sex with three times. They had both been drinking on each occasion. The friend later tested positive for HIV, but it's not clear if he contracted the condition from the woman. It was never proven in court.

The conviction is considered by critics to exemplify the injustices of the current use of sexual assault laws against people living with HIV, including the stigma still attached to the condition even though it is now considered a chronic and manageable condition that can be rendered undetectable after treatment.

 


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