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Infection needn't be disclosed with low-level HIV and condom use, Canadian court rules

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: October 5, 2012 - 12:06 PM

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that some people with low levels of HIV who use condoms during sex do not need to disclose their condition to sexual partners.

In a 9-0 ruling, the top court updated a landmark 1998 decision that made it a crime if HIV carriers did not not reveal their status when there was a significant risk of transmission to a sexual partner.

The court ruled Friday that the "realistic possibility of transmission of HIV is negated" provided the carrier of the virus has a low viral load and a condom is used during sexual intercourse. Otherwise, HIV carriers have to disclose their status to their partners.

The court also said the new ruling does not preclude the law from adapting to future advances in medical treatment and to circumstances where different risk factors are at play.

Under the previous law, HIV-carriers who didn't tell partners they had the virus could be charged with aggravated sexual assault. The maximum penalty is life in jail.

Read more from CBC News Canada.

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