Sex. Health. Community. A program of The AIDS Network: serving Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand, Norfolk & Brant

Generations of HIV

Criminalization

Stop unjust prosecutions of those with HIV

 Hamilton Spectator

AIDS and HIV now chronic condition (Opinion, Nov. 28)

As pointed out by Dr. Dale Guenter, HIV has changed but “the storm of fear” is holding us back and preventing people living with HIV from living full, happy lives. One of the most dramatic expressions of the fear surrounding HIV in our society is the overly broad use of the criminal law against people living with HIV. In Canada, criminal prosecutions are not confined to the exceptional circumstances of someone intending to transmit HIV to a partner.

The reality is that people living with HIV can be charged and convicted of aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing their status to their sexual partner(s) even if they had no harmful intent, used a condom or were unlikely to be able to transmit the virus as a result of effective HIV treatment, and in fact did not transmit HIV. Aggravated sexual assault is one of the most serious crimes in the Criminal Code, and usually reserved for violent rapes that leave the complainant permanently injured. A person who is convicted of aggravated sexual assault will go to jail and be registered as a sexual offender. This possibility is terrifying for people living with HIV, especially as they know proving that they did disclose their status can be very difficult.

The writer, as well as more than 75 other HIV experts in Canada, notes that the risk of transmitting HIV while on effective HIV treatment is “almost zero.” Yet, we continue to see prosecutions going forward. The writer is correct — “we can do better.” We need to put an end to unjust prosecutions against people living with HIV.

Cécile Kazatchkine, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

World AIDS Day

On this December 1st- World AIDS Day, Men4Men remembers those lost to HIV/AIDS, we honour the people who cared for them and we call on gay men today to know their history, do their part to reduce stigma and understand the realities of HIV today.

vigil

A must read:

Longterm Survivors: A World AIDS Day Remembrance

Posted: 11/25/2014 5:07 pm EST Updated: 11/25/2014 5:59 pm EST

In November, 1996, I attended an AIDS Conference in Chautauqua, New York. I had participated in many such conferences during the past decade. But this one was different. A new classification of drugs called protease inhibitors provided the ammunition to create a combination therapy “cocktail” that had dramatically changed the course of the AIDS epidemic, seemingly overnight. For the first time since the start of the epidemic, there was real, palpable hope.

At the end of the three-day conference, a large van arrived to take eight of us to the Buffalo airport. It was bitterly cold but the evening air smelled clean and country-fresh. The clocks had been turned back and it was pitch black except for the mass of stars above. It had been a long three days for the participants. I climbed in the back row of seats with Yvonne, a small, delicately fragile black woman of perhaps 35, though she could have passed for 70. Her cheeks were hollow and the teeth that remained in her mouth were yellowed.

We talked in hushed tones. There was an eerie stillness around us. The hum of the engine drowned out our conversation to the other passengers and, as far as I could tell, those in the seat directly in front of us seemed to have nodded off. The trip to the airport was a good hour’s drive. All around us was blackness, save for the headlights of our vehicle and the few oncoming cars on the near-empty country highway. It seemed as if we were floating in space. Read the rest of this entry »

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Today we remember.

TDOR

The Normal Heart

Please join us for a special screening during AIDS Awareness Week 2014. This free event will feature a screening of the acclaimed film followed by a panel discussion featuring long term survivors of HIV as well as community leaders in the fight.

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Barebacking Discussion

Special thanks to Central Spa in Hamilton for providing free passes to men attending our discussion group on November 29th!

http://www.centralspa.com

Syphilis is back…

And its in the news! How timely given our new campaign: “Not the Comeback We Were Hoping For”

Syphilis 1980 8x10 set 2
Old disease, modern problem: How hook-up culture is bringing syphilis back

TECHNOLOGY REPORTER — The Globe and Mail

Read the rest of this entry »

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