Disclosure of HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) Status
The Supreme court of Canada ruled that failing to disclose your HIV status to a sexual partner was a criminal offence, even if you were not asked. Then it softened the ruling and said that if you used condoms (and presumably other forms of safe sex) and were on successful retroviral therapy, you would not be charged.
Why not ask someone who knows what they are talking about like Dr. Julio Montaner, a leading world HIV expert. Making law based on gut feelings and polls is childish. Why not ask some gay people about the reality of the situation instead of idling speculating like theologians?
The court ignored the following factors.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Almost no one discloses. The reason is when you do, people will shun you, threaten to kill you, attempt to beat you up and in general treat you like a leper. The general public seem to think even being in the same room is sufficient for transmission. I went to an HIV support group. I was the only one there who advocated disclosure. This threat from the reaction is immediate and guaranteed, unlike a criminal charge.
- If there is a law requiring disclosure, people will presume their partner has disclosed. Most of the time they don’t even know! People who know get treatment which brings the viral load down to unmeasurable levels. The law protects you from people who won’t hurt you and leaves you vulnerable to those who will.
- You must take responsibility for your own safety using protected sex. Anything that interferes with that responsibility will cause more infection.
- A law that encouraged people to get tested, treated and neutralized as a source of infection would be much more effective. The current law discourages people from getting tested. If you don’t know your status, you can’t be charged!
- It takes up to six months for an infection to show up on a test. A negative result is no guarantee of safety. You must treat nearly everyone as if they had HIV. Trusting this law creates a false sense of safety.
- Condoms should not be required for anything other than vaginal/anal sex. The legislation should make that clear.
- This law is discriminatory against people with HIV. It makes illegal acts that have a very low risk. The justices made them illegal not on epidemiologic grounds, but on their personal fear factor. Other much more communicable diseases are not treated this way. The law is motivated by Christian-based homophobia and irrational prejudice.