Criminalization confusion and concerns: the decade since the Cuerrier decision

HIV AIDS Policy Law Rev. 2009 May;14(1):1, 5-10.


In 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a person living with HIV could be found guilty of aggravated assault if he or she did not disclose his or her HIV-positive status and exposed another person to a "significant risk" of HIV transmission. The notorious case--R. v. Cuerrier--involved an HIV-positive man and two women with whom he had intimate relationships involving unprotected intercourse. At the time the ruling, which imposed full legal responsibility for HIV prevention on people living with HIV/AIDS, raised many questions. Ten years later, many of those questions remain unanswered. In addition, a host of new issues have been added to the debate.

Publication types

  • Legal Case
  • Newspaper Article

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Crime / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Duty to Warn
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Disclosure
  • Unsafe Sex