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U=U and the overly-broad criminalization of HIV nondisclosure

By Nicholas Caivano and Sandra Ka Hon Chu People living with HIV in Canada have been charged with some of the most serious offences in the Criminal Code, even in cases of consensual sex where there was negligible or no risk of HIV transmission, no actual transmission and no intent to transmit. The Undetectable=Untransmittable (“U=U”) campaign is based on scientific research, including the ground-breaking PARTNER study, establishing that when a person living with HIV on treatment maintains an undetectable viral load for at least six months, the risk of transmitting the virus through sex is effectively non-existent. As advocates for...

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Travail du sexe des hommes et des personnes trans : décriminaliser et défaire les préjugés

par Jonathan Bacon Je me vois souvent contraint de commencer mes billets sur le travail du sexe en parlant du Grand Prix de F1 de Montréal. Chaque année, dans la foulée du Grand Prix – et particulièrement l’année dernière, en juin – les médias se font un plaisir, sinon un devoir, de prendre d’assaut ce qu’ils perçoivent comme une violente augmentation de l’exploitation sexuelle et de la traite des femmes dans le cadre de ces évènements sportifs. Cette médiatisation s’inscrit dans une approche abolitionniste aux effets néfastes, ceux-ci incluant une surveillance accrue, des arrestations plus fréquentes et des risques de...

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Spreading the good news about HIV treatment and prevention

By Laurie Edmiston Good news? On this World AIDS Day, 2016, there is a lot to report. The science of treatment and prevention has much to inspire agencies delivering needed services to people living with, and at risk of, HIV. We know that there are significant health benefits for people with HIV to begin treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early treatment with good adherence in order to maintain an undetectable viral load allows an HIV-positive person to live a long and healthy life. A ground-breaking study called START (Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) found that immediate treatment upon...

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Hep C: Solved with a Cure?

By Daryl Luster Hepatitis C is curable, reads the script; time and time again I hear this said, have read it, and say it myself. This is great news and a reality for more people than ever before. Does this mean that the job is done? I suppose it depends on one’s perspective. As I listened to members of the science research community speak recently, it is “done and dusted.” “Problem solved,” the headlines will read. Okay, maybe no headlines but a mention on page 4 with a minor piece in the late evening news, even though this may be...

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HIV and infant feeding: A complex debate

By Logan Kennedy There is a quiet tension that exists surrounding HIV and infant feeding. Although practices and recommendations vary around the world, breastfeeding is not recommended for infants born to an HIV-positive woman or trans man in Canada. Instead, HIV-positive parents are counselled to feed their infants with formula. But I don’t think it is by any means a closed case, even in Canada. The truth is, the debate about HIV and infant feeding (particularly in Canada) has never been more complex. Like so many discussions related to HIV today, scientific advances are changing the way we talk about...

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