Commons committee wants to curb criminal prosecutions of HIV non-disclosure

Gavel

The Commons justice committee wants to tone down use of criminal charges for people with HIV not telling their sex partners they have the virus.

The committee report tabled yesterday says the current Canadian approach to HIV non-disclosure is overly broad and punitive, and does not reflect the latest science that can significantly control the virus.

It recommends creation of a new Criminal Code offence that would apply to non-disclosure of an infectious disease, including HIV, only when there is actual transmission to another person.

Justice Minister David Lametti said last week the Liberal government had run out of time for new legislation, but, if returned to power, could explore options.

Still, the committee report urged Lametti to work immediately with the provinces to come up with a cross-country prosecutorial directive in the meantime.

During four spring meetings, the committee heard from scientists, researchers, legal and public health experts, and people living with HIV.