HIV and the Law: Resources for People Living with HIV

On World AIDS Day, December 1, 2017, the Department of Justice released the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Non-Disclosure of HIV. This report explores the question of HIV non-disclosure and the law in various contexts, including public health; medical evidence on treatment effectiveness; HIV transmission risk; and prosecutorial practices and considerations.

Charging practices can differ from province to province, and we don’t know how this report will impact cases moving forward.

The resources that follow below pre-date this report, yet provide important background information on how the law has been applied in HIV non-disclosure cases in Canada. These resources should not be considered as legal advice. If you have questions about a specific case, please consult a lawyer.

Information about the law and your rights

Know Your Rights: The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has created this series of 8 brochures addressing the privacy rights and disclosure obligations of people living with HIV in a variety of day-to-day contexts. Available for order in 7 different languages through the CATIE ordering Centre or [email protected]

HIV Testing Handbook: This handbook created by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is designed for both patients and service providers and sets out what people living with HIV need to know about their rights and making the right choice for them when it comes to HIV testing. To order copies contact BCCLA: 604-630-9755 or [email protected]

The Criminalization of HIV Nondisclosure: This poster Positive Women’s Network created by the describes the research Positive Women’s Network has been working with regards to the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. Six focus groups were conducted with 60 women to discuss their experiences and knowledge around the non-disclosure laws.

Practical Guide: Managing your health: This guide, created by CATIE, covers questions around HIV prevention, awareness and treatment. It’s Available for order through the CATIE ordering Centre or [email protected]. See Chapter 21: Legal issues.

Resources on HIV disclosure

Notice: HIV Disclosure and Criminalization: Created by the Positive Living Society of British Columbia, this two-page notice describes the ruling made by the Supreme Court of Canada on October 5, 2012 and what it means for the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV.

Disclosure: Telling someone you are living with HIV: Created by the Positive Living Society of British Columbia, this is a resource for people living with HIV providing help for talking to others about their HIV status.

Booklets to support women with HIV disclosure  have been published by the Positive Women’s Network & BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

HIV Disclosure and the Law: This brochure created by the Positive Women’s Network is intended to support women living with HIV by clearly describing laws around HIV disclosure, and how to protect yourself as a woman living with HIV. Now available through CATIE in English and French.

HIV disclosure: A legal guide for gay men in Canada: The HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO, Ontario’s Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) & CATIE
published this brochure providing legal information for gay men in Canada. Available for order through the CATIE ordering Centre.

Sex, criminal law and HIV non-disclosure  (2014): This short, two-part video series produced by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network addresses the urgent, pressing legal issue of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada, what is wrong with the current approach and why the Legal Network continues to work to change these laws and the way they are enforced.

Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada Video Series (2014): This series of 23 short videos by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network focuses on the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada. It covers the history of HIV non-disclosure, legal rights of people living in Canada and internationally, as well as the implications of current laws, and what is being done from a policy standpoint.

HIV Disclosure to Sexual Partners: Questions & Answers for Newcomers: This brochure published by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network — in five languages — will help newcomers to Canada make informed decisions about disclosing to sexual partners. It provides important information about the criminal law in Canada, public health, and specific implications for newcomers, including permanent residents, students, temporary workers, visitors, refugees, and people without immigration status. This informative website created by ACT Toronto includes a page on disclosure, with an overview of the current legal context and helpful tips on disclosure.

Think Twice: This website brings together community voices around decriminalization with the key message of “thinking twice” before pressing charges if you’re HIV-negative and found out someone you had sex with is HIV-positive.



WP_Post_Type Object ( [name] => resource_type [label] => Resources [labels] => stdClass Object ( [name] => Resources [singular_name] => Resource [add_new] => Add New [add_new_item] => Add New Resource [edit_item] => Edit Resources [new_item] => New Resource [view_item] => View Resource [view_items] => View Posts [search_items] => Search Resource [not_found] => Nothing found in the Database. [not_found_in_trash] => Nothing found in Trash [parent_item_colon] => [all_items] => All Resources [archives] => All Resources [attributes] => Post Attributes [insert_into_item] => Insert into post [uploaded_to_this_item] => Uploaded to this post [featured_image] => Featured Image [set_featured_image] => Set featured image [remove_featured_image] => Remove featured image [use_featured_image] => Use as featured image [filter_items_list] => Filter posts list [items_list_navigation] => Posts list navigation [items_list] => Posts list [menu_name] => Resources [edit] => Edit [name_admin_bar] => Resource ) [description] => [public] => 1 [hierarchical] => [exclude_from_search] => [publicly_queryable] => 1 [show_ui] => 1 [show_in_menu] => 1 [show_in_nav_menus] => 1 [show_in_admin_bar] => 1 [menu_position] => 8 [menu_icon] => dashicons-index-card [capability_type] => post [map_meta_cap] => 1 [register_meta_box_cb] => [taxonomies] => Array ( ) [has_archive] => pan-resources [query_var] => resource_type [can_export] => 1 [delete_with_user] => [_builtin] => [_edit_link] => post.php?post=%d [cap] => stdClass Object ( [edit_post] => edit_post [read_post] => read_post [delete_post] => delete_post [edit_posts] => edit_posts [edit_others_posts] => edit_others_posts [publish_posts] => publish_posts [read_private_posts] => read_private_posts [read] => read [delete_posts] => delete_posts [delete_private_posts] => delete_private_posts [delete_published_posts] => delete_published_posts [delete_others_posts] => delete_others_posts [edit_private_posts] => edit_private_posts [edit_published_posts] => edit_published_posts [create_posts] => edit_posts ) [rewrite] => Array ( [slug] => pan-resource [with_front] => [pages] => 1 [feeds] => 1 [ep_mask] => 1 ) [show_in_rest] => [rest_base] => [rest_controller_class] => )
  • All Resources
  • Advocacy, Policy, Public Health Resources
  • Community Based Research Resources
  • Evaluation Resources
  • Health Resources
  • Training, Conference, and Webinar Resources
  • The Evaluation News blog covers our work within PAN and with organizations in the community.  Learn about different kinds of evaluation like Realist Evaluation, learn how other organizations are using evaluation approaches, meet evaluators on the job, and find out about how you can help in community evaluation. Explore in detail:  Evaluation News blog Evaluation… Read more »

  • People with HIV can live long and healthy lives if they access to treatment and social support as needed. As people with HIV age, however, complications of aging can compound challenges of living with HIV. Concerns for people with HIV who are aging can include income security, stigma, safe and affordable housing, aging in place,… Read more »

  • Each year our annual conference gathers people from across the province who share their programs and services, learn about new developments in public health, and help build a vibrant and supportive community. We gather presentations, papers and videos following each conference so people may refer to them at any time. See resources from conferences: Explore… Read more »

  • We offer our KnowledgeConnect webinars to reach our 50+ member organizations as well as community leaders and stakeholders. Information is available when our viewers have the opportunity to connect. Watch for news on upcoming webinars in the blog. Follow the blog for new on upcoming webinars Explore webinars by theme: Advocacy, Policy, Public Health Health Determinants… Read more »

  • Each fall members of the PAN community meet to learn about the latest in public health and HIV in BC, learn from each other’s work and set priority action items for the upcoming year.  The 2016 Fall Conference, AGM, Forum and ED Summit was no exception. The 2016 conference featured Canadian drug policy and public health… Read more »

  • In April 2016 BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the overdose epidemic in BC a public health emergency.  Despite committed efforts, the epidemic continues, as overdose statistics show.  This has significant impact on first responders, including frontline staff at Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) member and allied organizations, and especially people with lived experience… Read more »

  • In community-based research the involvement of communities or people who share a common experience or identity with the group being researched is of great importance. The community has a central voice in the research directions. “Peer Research Assistants” or “Community Research Associates” are those hired into roles to help with the research from start to… Read more »

  • In April 2016 BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the overdose epidemic in BC a public health emergency in April 2016.  Despite committed efforts, the epidemic continues, as overdose statistics show.  This has significant impact on first responders, including frontline staff at Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) member and allied organizations, and especially people… Read more »

  • Information about the law and the rights of people with HIV  Having HIV is not a crime, but law can impact heavily on the lives of people with HIV. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network “is one of the world’s leading organizations tackling the legal and human rights issues related to HIV, and advocating at both… Read more »

  • Evaluation can help guide your organization or group to make decisions about programs, services, research, and more. Participatory research is just what it sounds like- people and communities take part in decision-making about what is evaluated, rather than being told what they “should” evaluate. Community is central to evaluation work and we can help you… Read more »

  • Knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) or knowledge mobilization (KMb) consists of a variety of methods in which research and knowledge is transferred, translated, exchanged and co-produced to enhance the practical application of knowledge between researchers and research-users (individuals and community organizations seeking to use research to inform decisions in public policy and professional practice). A… Read more »


Load More