Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finding a way out of the HIV criminalization loop

“The problem is, we try to solve a lot of social problems though the courts,” says Mark Ertel, president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. “It’s similar, in a way, to [the] way that they’ve treated drugs — they made it into a big criminal problem, and they have to enforce it, and now there’s no money for treating people or educating people or anything else. The same thing goes for HIV.”

Dale Smith writes:
(Canada) Activists agree that the current legal framework for addressing HIV transmission is untenable. The charges have ballooned from nuisance to first-degree murder over the course of 15 years. At the same time, it’s become less and less clear what’s safe to do without ending up on the wrong side of the law. Sex without disclosing your HIV status but with a condom? What about lower-risk activities? How does viral load effect the equation?