Liberals hope to look at criminalization of HIV non-disclosure — if re-elected

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti rises during a Committee of the Whole in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The federal justice minister says the Liberals hope to tackle the issue of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure if they are re-elected in the fall.

Non-disclosure has led to assault or sexual assault charges against people with HIV because it’s been found to invalidate a partner’s consent.

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Justice Minister David Lametti says the government won’t be able to act on the findings of an imminent report on the issue before the October election.

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But he says the Liberals, if returned to power, could explore options that include drafting a criminal law provision that targets intentional transmission of HIV.

READ MORE: HIV-positive community says limiting prosecution for non-disclosure a good first step

The federal standing committee on Justice and Human Rights has been examining the issue and is expected to release a report next week, just as the House is set to rise.

Late last year, the government instructed federal prosecutors in the North that they should no longer prosecute anyone for not disclosing their HIV status to a sex partner where there is no risk of transmitting the virus.

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