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Stop the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure!

Please be aware that any resources describing the current state of the criminal law as it relates to HIV non-disclosure do not take into account the recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions in R. v. Mabior and R. v. D.C. We are presently working to update all our resources in accordance with these new decisions.


The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is extremely concerned about the escalation and severity of criminal charges involving HIV non-disclosure. Currently 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. More than 130 people living with HIV have been charged in less than 15 years — yet, this includes numerous cases, in which their activity posed no significant risk of HIV transmission. This is a miscarriage of justice. Such misuse of the law also contributes to a climate of anxiety, fear, stigma and misinformation that undermines HIV counseling, education and prevention efforts — and puts all Canadians at greater risk.

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 an HIV-positive person is being successfully treated with antiretroviral drugs. We envision a world where the law seeks to protect and uphold the human rights of all people, including those living with HIV, and is guided by the best available scientific evidence, not assumptions, prejudice or fear.

On February 8, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada heard two landmark cases on this important issue in R v. Mabior and R v. DC. The Court’s decisions in these two appeal cases will have profound implications not only for people living with HIV, but also for Canadian public health, police practice and the criminal justice system. A webcast of the hearing is available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Please read our key documents for more information on the Supreme Court cases and the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada and abroad. You can also support the movement to end the injustice by staying informed.

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Key Documents

Additional information on criminalization of HIV non-disclosure.

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Stay Informed

Join our mailing list to receive updates on the Supreme Court of Canada cases and other key criminalization cases as they emerge, both in Canada and around the world. You will also receive notice of actions you can take to help put an end to the unjust criminalization of people living with HIV. 

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News Releases

October 5, 2012 —
Unjust Supreme Court Ruling on Criminalization of HIV Major Step Backwards for Public Health and Human Rights

June 26, 2012 —
Update on two Ontario appeals regarding criminalization of HIV non-disclosure

February 6, 2012 —
In Advance of Landmark Supreme Court Case, Supporters Worldwide Call on Canada to Stop Criminalizing People Living with HIV

Related Links

Mabior and D.C.: Does HIV Non-Disclosure Equal Rape?
Blog post by Richard Elliott and Alison Symington at The Court

Responding to the Criminalization of HIV Transmission or Exposure: Resources for lawyers and advocates
Responding to the Criminalization of
HIV Transmission or Exposure

A resource kit to support lawyers in the preparation of their cases, including publications that can ultimately be presented in court.

Stop the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure!

AIDS 2010


The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
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