This article offers comprehensive analysis of the trends, demographic patterns, and outcomes of more than 100 Canadian criminal cases of HIV non-disclosure between 1989 and 2010. With dual goals of contributing to the creation of policy options and framing community-based advocacy, the authors discuss the role that quantifying social phenomena can play in governance. They further explain how these numerical measures can help to make criminalization "visible" in ways that might contribute to activist responses and include numerous charts and graphs as visual representations of their key findings.
The article examines temporal trends, demographic patterns, and outcomes (including lengths of jail sentences) separately. In each instance, the pattern or trend identified is described, potential explanations for findings are offered, and an account is given of how the data have informed efforts to reform criminal law. Particular attention is paid to the following key findings: a sharp increase in Canadian criminal cases that began in 2004; the large proportion of recent criminal cases involving defendants who are heterosexual Black, African, and Caribbean men; and the high proportion of criminal cases resulting in conviction.
The article highlights some significant areas of concern and the conclusion touches upon suggestions for future research.