Published September, 2018

The impact of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure on the healthcare engagement of women living with HIV in Canada: a comprehensive review of the evidence, Sophie Patterson et al., Journal of the International AIDS Society (2015)

The criminalization of HIV non-disclosure may undermine public health goals for women living with HIV (WLWH) in Canada. The authors reviewed a total of 23 articles published between 1998 and 2015. Evidence suggests that criminalizing HIV non-disclosure can negatively affect engagement and retention within the HIV care cascade in a number of ways. For example, it may discourage uptake of HIV testing due to fears of the legal consequences of a positive diagnosis or weaken linkage to and retention in healthcare due to concerns about violations of confidentiality. The authors highlight the lack of research on women specifically and call for further research on the barriers to WLWH’s engagement in care that result from criminalization of non-disclosure.