Mandatory HIV Testing Policy

Scholarly Definition

Mandatory serological screening for HIV was added to the immigration medical examination in 2002. Bureaucrats from federal health and immigration departments jointly formulated the HIV testing policy as an instrument and set of instructions. It is inscribed in policy rather than in law. © Laura Bisaillon

Artist Statement

People living with HIV have names, loved ones, experiences, memories, and value independent of their medical diagnosis. I am troubled that Canada maintains an immigration system that interprets such people as social, health and legal risks and can make them ineligible to immigrate on this basis. In this image, I have used deep red because this is the colour of blood. The red ribbon, which has come to be a ubiquitous symbol of HIV/AIDS, is overlaid by a magnifying glass through which we see people. These are people with HIV, and they have a lot to offer Canadian society. Through this illustration, my aim is to bring attention to the HIV policy and the troubling institutional practices to which it gives rise in the work of bureaucrats and professionals working inside and outside of Canada.

Medium: Digital art. © Ujwal Mantha