People living with HIV continue to be charged with aggravated sexual assault – one of the most serious offences in Canada’s Criminal Code – even where there is no intent to cause harm, no transmission occurs and the risks of transmission are negligible if not zero. This is a travesty of justice. Despite efforts of the Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure (CLHE) to engage in good faith with the Ministry of Attorney General since 2010, unjust prosecutions continue in Ontario, ignoring medical evidence and destroying the lives of people living with HIV.
On December 1, 2016, World AIDS Day, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, denounced the overly broad use of the criminal law in Canada, acknowledging that “the over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure discourages many individuals from being tested and seeking treatment, and further stigmatizes those living with HIV or AIDS.” On December 5, 2016, members of CLHE met with Ontario ministers, including Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, to demand action.
Below are the English and French versions of a template letter that you can send to the Attorney General by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail. There is also an online advocacy action at http://clhe.ca/hiv-is-not-a-crime where individuals can send emails directly to Attorney General Yasir Naqvi. You can also help spread the word to your communities by promoting the link in your network and via social media using the following hashtag: #EndHIVCrim
For more information about the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure and the Campaign for Prosecutorial Guidelines, visit http://www.clhe.ca