On October 20 and 21, people living with HIV, community workers, lawyers and academics from across the country met in Toronto to officially launch the new Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization. The Coalition was founded by a group of Canadians and representatives of Canadian organizations who met at the HIV Is Not A Crime 2 Training Academy convention in Huntsville, Alabama, in May 2016. The group was compelled to join forces at a national level to progressively reform discriminatory and unjust criminal and public health laws and practices that criminalize and regulate people living with HIV in relation to HIV exposure, transmission and non-disclosure in Canada.
At their meeting, members of the Coalition were guided by the powerful testimonies of two individuals who have been criminally charged with HIV non-disclosure. The Coalition discussed opportunities for greater involvement and support of people living with HIV, including people with lived experience in responding to unjust prosecutions, as well as potential avenues for advocacy at the federal level.
While the Coalition is a nascent initiative, it relies on years of experience in advocacy and expertise on HIV criminalization in Canada. We will keep you updated on the Coalition’s activities and how you can support the Coalition.
In the meantime, if you have personal experience of HIV criminalization and are interested in getting involved or if you want to learn more about the Coalition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The steering committee: