MEDIA ADVISORY: PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV, AND OTHER LEADING CANADIAN EXPERTS TO SPEAK AT 10th SYMPOSIUM ON HIV, LAW, AND HUMAN RIGHTS

PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV, AND OTHER LEADING CANADIAN EXPERTS TO SPEAK AT 10th SYMPOSIUM ON HIV, LAW, AND HUMAN RIGHTS 

Media Invited to Join Virtual Sessions on HIV Criminalization in Canada 

For immediate release

Members of the media are invited to attend HIV Criminalization: Challenging Injustice in Canada and Around the World — a free, bilingual (English/French), virtual event that will examine the evolution of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada and trends in prosecutions. Specific and timely topics will include the disproportionate impacts on Black and Indigenous people; litigation related to condom use, HIV, and sexual assault law; and global movements and advocacy to limit HIV criminalization around the world. 

 

WHAT: The HIV Legal Network’s 10th Symposium on HIV, Law, and Human Rights. (See detailed schedule here.) 

WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT 

WHERE: Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Symposium will be held virtually. Registration can be done through the HIV Legal Network’s website at www.hivlegalnetwork.ca/symposium. 

WHO: (In order of appearance) 

Richard Elliott (Research Associate, HIV Legal Network) 

Colin Hastings (Concordia University) 

Notisha Massaquoi (University of Toronto) 

Liam Michaud (York University) 

India Annamanthadoo (Policy Analyst, HIV Legal Network) 

Léa Pelletier-Marcotte (COCQ-SIDA) 

Shakir Rahim, (Lawyer, and Board Member, HIV Legal Network)  

Khalid Janmohamed(Lincoln Alexander School of Law, X University, former Litigation Director at HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario) 

Isabel Grant (Peter Allard School of Law, UBC) 

Edwin Bernard (HIV Justice Network) 

Cécile Kazatchkine (Senior Policy Analyst, HIV Legal Network) 

Mikhail Golichenko (Senior Policy Analyst, HIV Legal Network) 

Alex McClelland (Carleton University) 

Registration for the event is free and the Symposium will be held securely on Zoom. Interviews with select panelists are available on request. 

 

The HIV Legal Network has also just released HIV Criminalization in Canada: Key Trends and Patterns (1989-2020). Select high-level findings include:

  • The criminal law is still used disproportionately against people living with HIV from some racialized populations. Black men are disproportionately represented among those prosecuted for alleged HIV non-disclosure. Black and Indigenous people are convicted at a higher rate, acquitted at a lower rate, and are more likely to face prison sentences than their white peers.

 

  • In recent years, there has been a reduction in prosecutions, and particularly against people with a suppressed viral load, reflecting community advocacy and greater understanding of the available scientific evidence. But people living with HIV continued to be charged and convicted for HIV non-disclosure in cases in which their sexual activities pose a negligible risk of HIV transmission or no risk at all.

 

  • There remains an urgent need for the criminal legal system to be better guided by science and by human rights principles in responding to HIV, and for government action to end the harms of HIV criminalization in Canada.

 

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Media Contact: 

Janet Butler-McPhee 

Co-Executive Director, HIV Legal Network 

Mobile: 647-295-0861  

Email: jbutler@hivlegalnetwork.ca 

 

In 2020, we produced a guide for reporting on HIV criminalization. It may be useful to you as you explore this important topic: Media Reporting: HIV and the Criminal Law 

 

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