The Proposed “Mandatory Testing and Disclosure Act”: An Unjustified and Unnecessary Violation of Rights – A submission to the Yukon Department of Justice and Members of the Legislative Assembly

The Legal Network supports measures to prevent the spread of HIV, including for workers such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance attendants, paramedics and those providing emergency assistance (collectively referred to as emergency responders in this submission) and health care workers. The Legal Network also supports access to quality HIV testing and counselling, and access to care, treatment and support for those who may be exposed to the risk of HIV infection, whether occupationally or otherwise. Finally, we support measures that respect and protect the rights of people living with HIV and those vulnerable to HIV infection.

However, legislation that authorizes compulsory blood testing is not a measure needed to prevent the spread of HIV, nor is it necessary to ensure quality HIV testing, counselling, care, treatment or support for those exposed to the risk of infection. Furthermore, compulsory blood testing is not a measure that respects and protects the right of people living with or vulnerable to HIV infection. Therefore, this submission sets out our position as to why legislation authorizing the forced testing of people for HIV should not be enacted in the Yukon. In the event that the Department of Justice decides to proceed with this legislation nonetheless, this submission also includes an appendix of recommended revisions that we believe are necessary in order to make the bill more balanced.

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