This study examines the validity of the Supreme Court of Canada's claim that criminal prosecution of nondisclosure of HIV status would not undermine HIV prevention. In fact, the study found that "nondisclosure prosecutions likely undermine HIV prevention efforts and, consequently, exacerbate HIV transmission." Among the self-identifying gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men surveyed, 17% reported that nondisclosure prosecutions affected their willingness to get tested for HIV and almost 14% said these prosecutions made them fear discussing their sexual practices with health care providers. The study also found that individuals engaging in risky behavior are not seeking health care, which limits health care providers' ability to deliver counseling and other harm reducing interventions. The authors stress the need for additional quantitative and qualitative studies on STI and HIV testing and diagnoses rates to further understand the relationship between nondisclosure prosecutions and HIV prevention efforts.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.