Posts Tagged ‘HIV’

Today is World AIDS Day

December 1st, 2012 Comments off

Today — December 1, 2012 — is World AIDS Day.  Let us use this day to remember the lives of the individuals we have lost to HIV and AIDS, be it because of a lack of access to HIV and AIDS-related information, testing procedures, prevention methods, or treatment options; or because of the ongoing stigmatization, criminalization, scapegoating, and mistreatment (including  the serophobic harassment, assault, and murder) of people living with HIV/AIDS (or, for that case, of people presumed to be living with HIV/AIDS).
This includes:

  • People who are unable to access:
    • HIV/AIDS-related information
    • public or private insurance coverage, especially due to
      • insufficient funds (regardless of income) and/or
      • ineligible residency status, and/or
      • a lack of access to employment health benefits
    • health care centres and/or health care professionals — particularly ones that are knowledgeable, respectful, and non-stigmatizing
  • People who are not given timely HIV/AIDS-related information (if at all) because they are presumed to not be at risk of transmission and/or to not be living with HIV/AIDS. Case in point: people who are straight-identified and/or who are currently in a heterosexual relationship
  • Sex workers, especially sex workers who engage clients outdoors
  • Transpeople, particularly transwomen who are sex workers
  • Racialized people, particularly: Black men; Black men presumed to be from Africa; Aboriginal women (both cis and trans); and East and South Asian transwomen
  • First Nations people, especially First Nations women (both cis and trans) and two-spirited people who are sex workers and/or intravenous drug consumers
  • Men who have sex with other men, especially older gay men and men who engage in ‘public’ sex
  • Intravenous drug consumers, particularly individuals who consume heroin.
  • And anyone who lives or embodies any combination of these and other unlisted social positions. (Feel free to contribute to our list).

For more information about World AIDS Day, and the prevention, transmission, and treatment of HIV (including treatment-as-prevention), we recommend a visit to CATIE’s website at

The Queer Ontario Steering Committee

Breaking! Supreme Court of Canada Issues Decision on the Criminality of HIV Non-Disclosure

October 5th, 2012 Comments off

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada issued two rulings on the criminalizability of individuals living with HIV if they do not disclose their HIV-positive status to a sexual partner before engaging with them, sexually.  The rulings are in response to a case in Manitoba, where a man was charged with nine counts of aggravated sexual assault based on his failure to disclose his HIV‑positive status to nine complainants (none of the complainants contracted HIV); and a case in Quebec, where a woman with HIV was charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault for failing to disclose her HIV-positve status to a partner.
The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively ruled that laying such charges on an individual who is HIV-positive, with an undetectable viral load, and who made proper use of a condom, is unreasonable because the “realistic possibility of transmission of HIV is negated” in such a context.
The Manitoba case ruling can be found here:

The Quebec case ruling can be found here:

The CBC’s report on the ruling an be found here:


We (Still) Demand!

August 30th, 2011 Comments off

On August 28, 2011 Queer Ontario graced the steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa to commemorate the 40th anniversary of We Demand, the first nation-wide rally in Canada where gay men and women got together to demand legal and social reforms from the federal government. As John Wilson, an original member of the rally, noted in his keynote speech on Sunday: while a number of reforms have been achieved in the 40 years since 1971, there is still a lot of prejudice that needs to be challenged and abolished, particularly on the part of government. This includes the government’s refusal to extend human rights protections to transsexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, as well as its insistence on criminalizing HIV transmission.

Indeed, it is worth remembering that the extension of marriage rights to same-sex or same-gender couples did not finalize the struggle for queer and trans rights but, rather, re-invigorated it, as we now fight for the rights of those who are marginalized by the expectation to marry and privatize our sexualities; and those whose identities, relationships and livelihoods have yet to be recognized and accommodated by government.

Special thanks go out to Susan Gapka, Michael Burtch, Melanie Pasztor, and Brent Bauer for lending us their voices and their words of inspiration in highlighting all the work that needs to be done to create a trans-embracing, queer-loving, and sex-positive Canada. A very special thanks to A.J. Lowik for giving voice to our Demands list; as well as the over 100 people who attended the rally and shared their demands and their experiences of discrimination with us.