Scientists back argument for change in HIV disclosure rules from man facing charges

published on September 8, 2017 by Ben Miljure in CTV News

A B.C. man facing a dozen charges of aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing his HIV status to people he had unprotected sex with doesn’t believe certain people living with the virus should be required to tell sexual partners.

In a Globe and Mail editorial published last month, Dr. Julio Montaner, UBC-St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation chair in AIDS Research, and Dr. Kora DeBeck, research scientist at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said Canadians need more information on the risks of HIV transmission by people receiving medical treatment.

“Simply put, HIV treatment suppresses the virus to undetectable levels. When the virus is undetectable, HIV cannot be passed on,” they wrote.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association wants the law updated to take modern medicine into account.

“The best scientific and medical evidence we have suggest there is virtually no risk,” said Vonn. “So we have to ask ourselves, how can we be using the heavy hand of the criminal law in this kind of scenario.”

As for Carlisle’s case, without knowing the details of his medical status at the time of the alleged offences, it is not yet known whether science will be on his side.

View the full article