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Dec05

Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould Issues groundbreaking statement on World AIDS Day about HIV criminalization

Monday, 05 December 2016 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Current Affairs, Legal, Media, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould: "Still, the over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure discourages many individuals from being tested and seeking treatment, and further stigmatizes those living with HIV or AIDS."

Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould Issues groundbreaking statement on World AIDS Day about HIV criminalization

December 01, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement:

World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on Canadians and t give thanks to the many dedicated people who work to prevent this disease and help people get the care and support they need.

It is also a time to recognize the tremendous medical advances thatt have been made since the first World AID Day was held in 1988. HIV treatment has slowed disease progression to the point that, for many, HIV infection can now be regarded as a chronic, manageable condition.

Still, the over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure discourages many individuals from getting tested and seeking treatment and further stigmatizes those living with HIV or AIDS. Just as treatment has progressed, the criminal justice system must adapt to better reflect the current scientific evidence on the realities of this disease.

Over the coming months, I intend to work with my provincial and territorial counterparts, affected communities and medical professionals to examine the criminal justice system's response to non-disclosure of HIV status. This could include a review of existing charging and prosecution practices as well as the development of possible prosecutorial guidelines. I also look forward to working with Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, in his continued efforts to engage Canadians on important issues such as this one.

On World AIDS Day, we should all share in the commitment to reduce stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV or AIDS.

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