The courts’ role in adjudicating HIV cases leaves judges in the awkward position of adjudicating intimate details of our sex lives. At the Manitoba Court of Appeal, for instance, judges read into the record the following list of instructions for the proper use of a condom. While the list may constitute good advice, ought judges take on the role of Canada’s chief sexual health nurses?
1 The condom must be used before the expiry date on the package.
2 The condom must be taken out of the package carefully. It should not be opened with teeth.
3 The condom must be stored in cool temperatures.
4 The condom must not be squished or sat on.
5 The condom must be made of latex.
6 The condom must be correctly applied, which includes squeezing the air out of the tip of the condom and rolling it completely down the penis shaft.
7 Lubricant made out of specific materials must be used (no petroleum products, Vaseline or oils).
8 If there are any problems with the condom during intercourse, the condom must be replaced.
9 When removing the penis from the vagina [sic], the condom should be held around the base of the penis to prevent spillage.
10 Both parties should be sober.