The Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization (CCRHC) has previously called for changes to the federal Criminal Code that would limit HIV criminalization. This call was in the Coalition’s Community Consensus Statement released in 2017. Since then, Coalition members have continued to press the federal government for action and have been developing some options for amendments to the Criminal Code

To inform the next phase of our advocacy, the Coalition has launched a cross-Canada consultation about those options with people living with HIV, people working in the HIV response, legal and human rights experts, and activists. The Coalition wants your input.
We want to ensure that our community has the tools to understand the implications of various proposals for law reform. We want to be prepared to address complex and sensitive issues and technicalities that will arise during the process of drafting proposed changes to the Criminal Code and then campaigning for them. We want to be prepared for difficult conversations and decisions in negotiations with lawmakers, if and when we can get a bill introduced in Parliament. Outcomes of the consultation will help ground our efforts in the expertise, needs, and input of the HIV community and our allies as we work to limit criminal prosecutions against people living with HIV. 

Out of this consultation we will develop a document that outlines our path forward and recommendations for changes in the Criminal Code. It will also help mobilize the HIV community and our allies in the major advocacy effort that will be needed to see the law changed for the better.

We encourage you to read this background document before completing the survey. It provides more details about the current state of the law on HIV criminalization in Canada and some options for amendments to the Criminal Code that the Coalition is considering. Reading it will help you answer the series of questions below. 

The survey will run from August 23 to October 22, 2021. The responses are anonymous.
While the views expressed through this survey will inform the Coalition’s advocacy strategy surrounding Criminal Code reform, it is important to note that the process of changing the law is uncertain and involves risk. Advocates can push for changes, but ultimately, the government decides if and how they will draft a bill with proposed changes to the law. Then, Members of Parliament and Senators debate a bill. If the bill proceeds through the various stages, they may propose and adopt amendments to it along the way, and they ultimately vote for or against the final bill (if it makes it to a final vote). As a result, a bill may see a lot of changes during the process, for better and for worse.

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* 1. Which of the following three options would you prefer the Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization to proceed with? (These are explained in more detail in the backgrounder we have provided.)

To better understand your response and inform the Coalition’s advocacy, we have a series of 13 more detailed questions below.

At the moment, not disclosing your HIV-positive status to a sexual partner is a crime in some circumstances in Canada. 

In your view, in which of the circumstances described below should a person living with HIV not be prosecuted if they do not disclose their status? Consider each of these statements on their own and indicate your level of agreement or disagreement.

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* 2. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted for having vaginal or anal sex if they have a suppressed/undetectable viral load (< 200 copies/ml), even if no condom is used.

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* 3. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted for having vaginal or anal sex if a condom is used, even if they have a high viral load

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* 4. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted for receiving oral sex, even if no condom or dental dam is used.

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* 5. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted for having vaginal or anal sex if they are taking antiretroviral treatment as prescribed.

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* 6. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted if they honestly believed their sexual partner was taking PrEP at the time of sex.

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* 7. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted if they honestly believed their sexual partner was aware of their HIV+ status before having sex.

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* 8. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted if they honestly believed that, given the circumstances of the sexual encounter, their sexual partner was aware that there could be a risk of HIV exposure or transmission.

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* 9. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted if they did not disclose their status because they feared violence (or some other serious negative consequence) if they did disclose.

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* 10. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted in any of the above circumstances.

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* 11. A person living with HIV should not be prosecuted if they did not want their sexual partner to contract HIV.

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* 12. A person living with HIV should never be prosecuted for HIV non-disclosure in any circumstance at all.

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* 13. Based on what you've read in the background document, advocates concerned about overly broad criminalization should campaign for changes to the Criminal Code, with the risks and benefits this involves.

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* 14. Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share with us?

Optional Questions: In order to assess the effectiveness of the CCRHC’s efforts to engage different communities affected by our proposed Criminal Code reforms, we are collecting data about our survey respondents. The following questions are optional.  Responses are anonymous.

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* 15. Which of the following describe you? (Check all that apply.)

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* 16. Do you work with an HIV organization?

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* 17. Please indicate your self-identified gender:

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* 18. Please indicate your self-identified racial identity:

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* 19. If you feel comfortable doing so, please indicate whether you are:

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* 20. If you feel comfortable doing so, please indicate whether you identify as belonging to one or more of the following “key populations” particularly affected by HIV: (Check all that apply.)

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* 21. Please indicate your age:

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