Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Publication Title

Sexuality Research and Social Policy

Volume

11

First Page

39

Last Page

49

Keywords

criminalization of HIV, Canada, people living with HIV

Abstract

As part of a study on the social consequences of the criminal justice system on people living with HIV or AIDS (PHAs) in Canada, this article focuses on how heightened public identification of HIV with criminal matters is having wide ranging effects on perceived personal security and in particular on negotiating potential romantic and sexual interactions. As articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada, the courts have been enforcing a requirement that HIV-positive people disclose their sero-status to prospective partners, relying on the notion that “through deterrence it [the Criminal Code] will protect and serve to encourage honesty, frankness and safer sexual practices.” Nevertheless an accumulating set of evidence in the social and health sciences is pointing toward the difficulties of carrying out this directive in everyday life and toward the ways in which the application of law creates counter-productive or unanticipated consequences that can run contrary to the ostensible objective of discouraging behaviour likely to transmit HIV.

Share

COinS