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Up until the end of 2012, as far as we know, there were approximately 155 legal cases in Canada where individuals were criminally prosecuted for not disclosing their HIV infection to their partners before sex.
Of these, about 30 cases involved men who were prosecuted for allegedly not disclosing their HIV infection to other men before sex.
But when you know what the law says, you can make better decisions and potentially avoid legal problems.
So knowing about the criminal law may help you have a safer and more satisfying sex life.
Please note that the focus of this guide is criminal law, sex and HIV.
This guide does not cover all the legal issues about HIV and disclosure.
Anti-discrimination laws may also protect you from discrimination because of your race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status or family status, and mental or physical disability.
If there is a “realistic possibility” that you will pass on HIV to your sex partner during sex, you have a legal duty to tell your sex partner that you have HIV before you have sex.
A person with a criminal record may not be able to travel to some countries. If he is not a Canadian citizen, immigration authorities may be able to deport him.
If you think someone has discriminated against you or violated your rights, you can contact the human rights agency in your province or territory, or the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
For legal advice about your human rights, contact a lawyer who practices human rights law.
The Supreme Court of Canada made the criminal law even stricter with two decisions it released in October 2012.