Many of us at YouthCO are part of communities that are specifically targeted by criminal laws, and are over-policed. As a youth-led organization, we oppose the criminalization of our communities, and we support efforts to find alternatives to criminal law and police to support our wellbeing. We stand against the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, the criminalization of drug use and substance use disorder, and poverty.
In Canada and British Columbia, people living with HIV can be charged with aggravated sexual assault if we do not disclose our HIV status before certain types of sexual acts. In the context of ongoing colonization, racism, and sexism, these charges are often made against people who are Black, Indigenous, and/or women.
YouthCO opposes the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. We believe the criminal law perpetuates fear and stigma, and further harms those of us who are living with HIV, who are people of colour, who are indigenous, who are poor, and who are part of LGBTQ+ communities.