York sociology professor recognized for HIV/AIDS research

Abdeali Saherwala | Contributor

Featured image: Dr. Mykhalovskiy’s recent research has focused on the criminalization of HIV/AIDS in Canada and how it has become a barrier to legislative reform. | Courtesy of YFile


York sociology professor Eric Mykhalovskiy has been awarded the 2017 Canadian Association for HIV Research-Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CAHR-CANFAR) Excellence in Research Award in the Social Sciences.

Celebrating his knowledge and devotion to social justice and to creating social change, the award highlights Mykhalovskiy’s work in HIV/AIDS research on both national and international scales.

His past research has involved working with people with HIV who are utilizing newly available antiretroviral therapies to see how they are used for patients to manage their health. His current research concentrates on the criminalization of HIV/AIDS in Ontario and how it impacts patients.

“In Canada, people can be criminally charged and prosecuted for having the virus when they don’t disclose their HIV/AIDS status to their sex partners,” Mykhalovskiy says. “They are often charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is one of most serious criminal offences in the books.

“These charges happen even when people with HIV have no intent to transmit, take precautions to prevent transmission, pose negligible to no risk of transmission, and don’t, in fact, pass on the virus.”

Mykhalovskiy says his research explores the different aspects of the issue, including “the patterns and trends in charges, the unintended public health implications of HIV criminalization, and the stigmatized nature of media coverage of HIV non-disclosure criminal cases.”

Further, Mykhalovskiy is a sociologist with primary training in Institutional Ethnography (IE). He adds that his IE background helps him better comprehend HIV/AIDS criminalization in Canada. In applying IE approaches, Mykhalovskiy studies the social organization of the biomedical,…

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