If you decide to tell
Medical Professionals
Do I have to tell anyone?

Do I have to tell anyone?

This is a very simple question that has a hard answer. There are two things to think about before you decide to tell someone:

  1. What does the law say?
  2. How do you feel about telling?

The Law
There are two different laws that talk about HIV.

Criminal Law:

The only person/people you have to tell you’re HIV positive is your sexual partner(s).

The Supreme Court of Canada says that you have to tell your HIV status to your sexual partners if you have unprotected sex (sex without a condom). If you don’t tell them you can be charged – even if your sexual partner doesn’t get HIV.

Generally the Criminal Law says that If you have unprotected sex and do not tell your HIV-positive status to your HIV-negative partner(s), you have committed an assault UNLESS it can be confirmed (in the courts) that the partner would have consented to the unprotected sex even if he or she had known about your HIV status before. (Taken from the Cuerrier case)

Public Health Law:

This is a provincial law. Every province has different Public Health laws, so you need to look into your province’s public health law for more information. There are some areas where the local public health office calls up the HIV clinic on a regular basis to ask for updates about their HIV-positive patients. Overall, there is an enormous variation from health unit to health unit

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE