Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

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The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network[1] is Canada's leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV and AIDS. The organization actively promotes the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research, analysis, public education and community mobilization. The organization was founded in Montreal, Canada in 1992 by human rights lawyers Ralf Jürgens, David Patterson, David Thompson and Norman Halde. It is currently located in Toronto, Canada.


Unjust laws and policies and violations of human rights continue to worsen the impact of HIV and AIDS. The Legal Network's mandate focuses on ensuring that the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the disease are respected, protected and fulfilled; and that Canadian and international laws and policies facilitate HIV prevention efforts, as well as care, treatment and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. The organization's research, analysis, education and advocacy touches on a range of issues:

Aboriginal Communities
Criminal Law
Drug Policy and Harm Reduction
Equitable access to essential medicines and HIV treatment (Fix CAMR Campaign)
HIV Testing
Immigration and Travel
Income Security
Microbicides and Vaccines
Sex Work
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Women's Rights


The Legal Network produces an extensive range of publications [2] on numerous HIV-related legal and policy issues, including info sheets, Q&A documents, briefing papers, submissions to governments and other advocacy materials, commentaries and research articles in journals, and full-length research and analytical reports. The organization has received international recognition as one of the world's foremost sources of materials on the legal and human rights aspects of HIV and AIDS.

In 1994, the Legal Network began publishing the HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review[3] (originally the Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Newsletter), with approximately three bilingual issues published annually. In 2012 and after 18 years of publication, the Legal Network announced that it would be putting the Review on an 'indefinite hiatus' due to a lack of available funds resulting from a significant federal funding cut to the organization's annual budget.[1] The Review summarized and analyzed current developments in HIV/AIDS-related policy and law, promoted education and the exchange of information, ideas, and experiences from an international perspective around human rights issues affecting the global HIV response. Archived copies of the Review are hosted on the Legal Network's website and have remained freely accessible for download.


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