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HIV case proceeds to trial

The case of an HIV-positive man charged with the criminal offence of aggravated sexual assault is now headed to trial in BC Supreme Court.

The accused was charged after he allegedly failed to disclose his HIV status before having sex with another man.

According to Canada’s Criminal Code, aggravated sexual assault is any sexual assault that “wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the complainant,” and can carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Since a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 1998, people with HIV have a legal obligation to disclose their HIV status when they engage in sexual activity that presents a significant risk of serious bodily harm to another person.

Judge Jane Godfrey found that the evidence presented at the accused’s preliminary hearing was sufficient for this case to proceed to trial.

All evidence presented at that preliminary hearing is banned from publication by law.

A date for the trial will be fixed next month.