AIDS patients don’t have to inform partners in some cases
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2012 -- HIV carriers, who have a low level of the virus, and use a condom do not have to tell their sexual partners that they have the disease, Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled.
The court had ruled 14 years ago that HIV carriers have to tell their sex partners about the infection or they could be charged with aggravated sexual assault. The charge carries a maximum life sentence.
But Oct. 5 the high court decided 9-0 that HIV patients could decline to inform their partners of their infection if they use a condom and had a “low load” of the virus. The court said the decision was intended to reflect advances in medical treatment since the 1998 ruling.
“A realistic possibility of transmission is negated by evidence that the accused’s viral load was low at the time of intercourse and that condom protection was used,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the Canadian Press reported. McLachlin added that the law in the future might be adapted because of advances in treatment and the development of new risk factors.
HIV/AIDS activists had said the 1998 decision was confusing and was not applied consistently. They see the recent ruling as a partial victory.
Some advocates, however, said the ruling would continue to stigmatize HIV/AIDS patients.
“They don’t need the constant threat of criminal accusations and possible imprisonment hanging over their heads,” the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network wrote in a statement. People without the infection have a false sense of security because they believe the law will protect them, the group said.
The Supreme Court’s ruling was in response to two cases. One involved Clato Mabior of Winnipeg, who was accused of having sex with nine women from February 2004 to December 2005 but not revealing to them that he was HIV positive. Three of Mabior’s convictions were upheld but one was rejected.
In February, Mabior was deported to South Sudan.
The other case involved a Quebec woman whose conviction was thrown out. She had been found guilty of aggravated assault and sexual assault in connection with having sex with a man without disclosing that she was HIV-positive.
HIVDatingSite.co.uk (http://www.hivdatingsite.co.uk/benefitsofdatingforpeoplewithHIVAids.xhtml) is an online resource enabling people in the UK with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases to connect. Visitors to the site can sign up for no charge and check out profiles and photos. Users can also explore the HIV Dating network at HIVDatingSite.co.uk, along with looking for HIV dating advice and dating with HIV/AIDS.
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