Criminal law out of step on HIV – article in Law Times by HALCO’s Ryan Peck

In March 2017, the Law Times Speaker’s Corner published an in-depth article by  Ryan Peck, HALCO executive director and lawyer.

In the article, Ryan addresses both the science in relation to HIV transmission and the criminal law in relation to prosecutions related to HIV non-disclosure.

He points out the disproportionate impact that the current approach to HIV criminalization has on women, Indigenous peoples, migrants and African/Caribbean/Black communities. The negative effects of HIV criminalization from a public health perspective are also identified. He highlights some of the recent recognition given to the issue by government, the medical community, feminists, and others.

The work of the Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure (CLHE) is also emphasized as is the CLHE demand for an immediate moratorium on HIV non-disclosure prosecutions, unless there is alleged intentional transmission of HIV, while law reform options are explored and sound prosecutorial guidelines developed in meaningful consultation with community.

The article includes the Law Times Poll about HIV non-disclosure prosecution – if you would like to vote in the poll, scroll down in the article to find the poll.

To support the CLHE demand, visit the CLHE website to send a message to the Attorney General of Ontario, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi:

You can access the Law Times article on the Law Times website:

For more information about criminal law and HIV, please visit our website page:

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.


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