HIV non-disclosure and criminal law: Implications of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions for people living with HIV

On October 5, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decisions in the cases of Mabior and D.C. The Court decided that people living with HIV have a legal duty, under the criminal law, to disclose their HIV-positive status to sexual partners before having sex that poses a “realistic possibility” of HIV transmission. Not disclosing in such circumstances means a person could be convicted of aggravated sexual assault. This document explains what the Court’s decisions mean for people living with HIV, although many questions remain.