HIV Disclosure and the Law

In Ontario, Black communities are overrepresented in charges against people living with HIV who have not disclosed their status. The reality is that a disproportionate number of charges are brought against members of our community. Resulting in more HIV positive Black people facing trials and criminal investigations. It’s important for members of our community to be aware of the law in relation to non-disclosure and HIV. To make things more challenging, interpretations of the law and its requirements are difficult to follow. Here’s what you need to know:

What is HIV disclosure?

What the criminal law says about sex and HIV?

The criminal law about HIV non-disclosure is strict and the consequences can be severe. You may not like what the law says. You may not agree with it. But it is still the law.

What are the downsides of using the criminal law in cases of non-disclosure?

Black CAP is highly opposed to the use of the criminal justice system in cases of non-disclosure for the following reasons:

How can I reduce the likelihood of charges?

Proving that you disclosed to your partner is especially important, consider the following steps:

  1. Tell your sexual partners you are HIV positive before sex and try to get proof that you told them. When doing so use very clear and direct language such as “I have HIV”, I am HIV positive” or “I am infected with HIV”.
  2. Also make sure your partner understands what HIV means and how it is transmitted. For more information see HIV disclosure: A Legal guide for Gay Men in Canada – updated legal information May 2013, HALCO. Contact HALCO at 416-340-7790 or visit them at
  3. If you disclose to your partner online, by text or over email save it so you have proof.
  4. If you tell them in person make sure you have a witness or have your partner sign and date a document saying they know about your HIV status
  5. Consider making a video of your disclosure
  6. Create support and counseling records in a session with healthcare workers.

What do you need to do if you are being investigated or charged?

Contact HALCO immediately at 416-340-7790 or visit them at