Right now in BC, around 13,000 people living with HIV are susceptible to prosecution based on the current interpretation of sexual assault provisions in the Criminal Code by the Supreme Court. Scientific evidence demonstrates that there is almost no risk of transmitting HIV if you use a condom properly or have undetectable viral load. But people living with HIV are being prosecuted for a very serious crime—aggravated sexual assault—even if there’s no chance of their transmitting the virus. This is unjust.
Positive Living BC is calling on Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton to put guidelines in place that will ensure such unjust prosecutions don’t happen in BC. Positive Living BC has prepared a position paper calling for new charge assessment guidelines. Their 14 recommendations include:
- Presumption against prosecution when transmission does not occur
- The involvement of the Provincial Medical Officer in all HIV non-disclosure cases
- The inclusion of relevant and up-to-date medical research surrounding transmission
- Meaningful consultation of persons living with HIV in forming new guidelines