People living with HIV, community workers, lawyers and academics from across the country met in Toronto in October 2016 to officially launch the new Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization. Ryan Peck, HALCO executive director/lawyer was there.
The Coalition was founded by a group of Canadians who met at the HIV Is Not A Crime 2 Training Academy (www.hivisnotacrime.com/) convention in Huntsville, Alabama, in May 2016. The group came together to join forces at a national level to progressively reform discriminatory and unjust criminal and public health laws and practices that criminalize and regulate people living with HIV in relation to HIV exposure, transmission and non-disclosure in Canada.
At the meeting, members of the Coalition were guided by the powerful testimonies of individuals who have been criminally charged with HIV non-disclosure. The Coalition will forefront the greater involvement of people living with HIV, including people with lived experience in responding to unjust prosecutions, as well as potential avenues for advocacy at the federal level.
While the Coalition is a new initiative, it relies on years of experience in advocacy and expertise on HIV criminalization in Canada.
If you want to learn more about the coalition, or if you have personal experience of HIV criminalization and are interested in getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find information on the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network website: www.aidslaw.ca/site/canadian-coalition-to-reform-hiv-criminalization/?lang=en.
If you are living with HIV in Ontario and have questions about this or any other legal issue, please contact us for free legal advice.