The Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario, joined together as ‘The HIV Coalition’ to intervene in this case. GSHI contributed evidence drawn from years of research and dozens of peer-reviewed publications that resulted largely from two major research projects: AESHA - An Evaluation of Sex Worker's Health Access, a longitudinal cohort of street and off-street sex workers, and the Ethnographic-Qualitative study of the physcial, social and policy features of the work environment.
The HIV Coalition submitted that the prostitution laws in the Criminal Code:
1) Hinder sex workers’ access to critical health care services, such as sexual and reproductive health education, HIV prevention and harm reduction services, as well as HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, care, treatment and support; and
2) Hinder sex workers’ ability to control the conditions of their work, including safer sex practices and the use of condoms, thereby making their work less safe and exposing them to unnecessary harm.
Watch the SCC webcast (HIV Coalition at 452:00)