Research priority setting around the criminalization of HIV and Women in BC

Research priority setting around the criminalization of HIV and Women in BC

On October 23, 2015, a research roundtable was held in Vancouver, BC, to explore setting priorities for research, policy and advocacy around women, HIV and the law. The event was organized by the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative (of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS), the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and Positive Women’s Network (PWN) on behalf of the Women, HIV and the Law Project. Collaborators in organizing were International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (ICW), BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), Pacific AIDS Network (PAN), and BC Women’s Hospital/ Oak Tree Clinic.

Following a series of presentations and panels (visit the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative website for more details), the group participated in a research-agenda setting process, facilitated by Andrea Langlois of the Pacific AIDS Network and the CIHR CBR Collaborative (a program of REACH).

The resulting concept maps and priorities are meant to inspire and stimulate additional research and advocacy on the myriad of issues relating to women’s experiences around the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in British Columbia. Members of REACH 2.0, community organizations, people living with HIV/AIDS and researchers are invited to engage with these priorities and are welcome to use them to guide their work.

Research & Advocacy Priorities For Community: Read full summary

  1. Advocacy priority – Yearly day of action to end violence against women living with HIV. E.g. march, day with Chief and Council, day with police
  2. Education priority – culturally relevant, accessible and peer-driven education and working to expand the reach of materials that exist. Use art, drama and music.
  3. Intersectionality – Ensure that all research, education and advocacy activities are informed through the lens of needing to examine needs and priorities of sub-populations.

Research & Advocacy Priorities for Law Reform: Read full summary

  1. Research on how criminalization of HIV non-disclosure exacerbates gender-based violence.
  2. Research on the impact of the criminalization of HIV on peoples’ engagement in HIV testing, care, treatment, and other public health goals.
  3. Research on court processes, including assessment of expert testimony, and what guides prosecutorial discretion and priorities, in relation to HIV non-disclosure.

Research & Advocacy Priorities for HIV Care Providers: Read full summary

  1. Research to develop effective models of training for healthcare and social providers on criminalization and HIV.
  2. Research on the interface between criminalization of HIV non-disclosure and intersecting stigmas, and how it is connected with the ‘duty to report’, and how criminalization impacts different populations.
  3. Assess knowledge, attitudes/perceptions and practices and critical lens/commitment to social justice and human rights (KAP) of health and social service providers regarding HIV and criminalization.

As part of the roundtable and two-day event on gender-based violence and HIV, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network held a public screening of their new documentary film. You can watch the film here: Consent: HIV Non-Disclosure and Sexual Assault Law.

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