Skip to main content

Table 1 Questions and probes on the topic of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure

From: Perspectives of HIV-positive and -negative people who use drugs regarding the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada: a qualitative study

PERSPECTIVES ON HIV CRIMINALIZATION
In Canada, we have a law that criminalizes HIV+ individuals who do not disclose their HIV + status to sexual partners unless they use a condom AND have a ‘low’ viral load.
During this section, I am not asking about what you have done in the past, but am interested in understanding your opinions on this issue.
Have you come across any information related to this law?
▪ Were you aware of this law?
▪ What do you think about this law?
▪ Where did you hear this information?
▪ Can you tell me about any accounts of HIV non-disclosure that might stand out in your memory?
In Canada HIV non-disclosure has most often been prosecuted as aggravated sexual assault. Aggravated sexual assault carries a sentence of jail time up to a maximum of life imprisonment and registration on the Sexual Offender Registry. This is one of the most serious crimes in the Canadian Criminal Code. In Canada, over 150 people have been prosecuted for HIV non-disclosure to date, even where no transmission has taken place and where in many cases the risk of transmission was considered to be very small. What are your initial thoughts on how HIV is treated in Canada in these sorts of circumstances? ▪ Tell me about your overall thoughts about this law.
▪ How do you think this law influences people living with HIV?
▪ Do you think that this law is unfair for certain groups of people?
▪ Do you think everyone is able to disclose their HIV status when they are going to have sex?