Transmission Control: HIV non-disclosure laws do more harm than good

[From The Walrus, June 2015]  Testing HIV positive is no longer a death sentence—a fact that stands as one of the great medical achievements of the twentieth century. The United Nations aims to diagnose 90 percent of all HIV infections worldwide by 2020, deliver antiretroviral therapy to 90 percent of those who test positive, and suppress the virus in 90 percent of those treated. If these goals are met, the AIDSepidemic could be over by 2030.

The UN strategy owes a significant debt to Canadian research—particularly that of Julio Montaner, who was among the first scientists to establish highly active antiretroviral therapy as the standard of care for HIV, back in the mid-1990s. Sustained use of HAART suppresses the virus’s ability to replicate, eventually decreasing the concentration of HIV cells in the blood to undetectable levels and delaying the onset of symptoms and eventual progression to AIDS.

Regrettably, our legal system has not kept pace with these advances.

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