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Judge Rules Topping Not a ‘Significant Risk’ for HIV Infection | CarnalNation

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Judge Rules Topping Not a ‘Significant Risk’ for HIV Infection | CarnalNation

A trial in Vancouver ends in further complications for legal and public health initiatives against HIV/AIDS. Justice Lauri Ann Fenion "acquitted an HIV-positive man of aggravated assault for engaging in unprotected receptive anal sex without disclosing his serostatus to his partner," Tim McElreavy reports.

Both Canada and the US "criminalized the non-disclosure of HIV-positive status in situations that carried a 'significant risk' for HIV transmission but without defining 'significant risk.' As a result, HIV-positive individuals have been charged with and prosecuted for a variety of felonies…from aggravated assault to murder. […T]he U.S. [has] charged HIV-positive individuals with a range of crimes, including murder and, most recently, terrorism."

Activists say ambiguous laws "are terrible public health policy because ignorance of one's HIV status is the best legal defense. 'Take the test and risk arrest' is the message many at risk, who need to get tested, will ultimately hear."

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