Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

In light of recent media coverage of a local man accused and charged with aggravated sexual assault, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) is issuing the following statement.

Criminalization of HIV non-disclosure is as an obstacle to improving public health and providing accurate HIV/AIDS education and prevention information. Evidence has shown repeatedly that combatting HIV is a health and medical issue not a legal or criminal issue. Key factors in addressing the HIV epidemic, in particular risk factors and methods of transmission, are best addressed from a scientific and evidence-based lens rather than from a place of prejudice, judgment and AIDS-phobia. Criminalization perpetuates the stigma and fear that those living with HIV already face every day.

People living with HIV need health and social supports instead of the threat of criminal accusations and imprisonment hanging over their heads. Everyone can be empowered to accept responsibility for their own health and this pattern of the criminalization undermines the AIDS Committee of Ottawa’s ability to provide accurate HIV education, teach about prevention and assist with access to timely treatment.

The AIDS Committee of Ottawa provides support to those living with HIV along with education and information for the general public. We offer in-house monthly HIV 101 workshops, and by request for the community. Please contact  to sign up for a future workshop or to learn more about the work of the ACO.

You can also visit our web-site at for more information on our organization and to get connected with HIV/AIDS resources.

ACO is a social justice organization that provides education, support, outreach and advocacy to people living with/affected by/ and at risk of HIV/AIDS in the Ottawa region. ACO has served the Ottawa community for 29 years.

General Information on the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure:


Media Contact:

Khaled Salam

Executive Director, AIDS Committee of Ottawa

(613) 238-5014 ext. 234

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