HIV and the Criminal Law in Canada
Most of the time, whether you tell others (or “disclose”) that you have HIV is up to you. You may choose not to disclose that you have HIV because you are not sure how to tell people, or because of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV. You may also choose not to disclose because of homophobia, racism, transphobia, or discrimination against Two-Spirit people.
The situation is different when it comes to sex partners. In Canada, the criminal law says that, in certain circumstances, you must tell your sex partners that you have HIV before you have sex. This is sometimes referred to as a “legal duty to disclose.” While criminal law in Canada is colonial law that denies Indigenous law and legal traditions, it is the law that is currently enforced.
For more information, you can read the longer pamphlet and the one-pager. Both are available in English and French.
These materials were co-created by CAAN, HALCO, and the HIV Legal Network. We acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Justice Canada.