A MAN will face court in Sydney today charged with allegedly transmitting HIV to another man.
The 28-year-old man was charged with “recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm” and will appear in Downing Centre Local Court today.
[showads ad=MREC] Surry Hills Police initiated an investigation in 2012 following an allegation that a 33-year-old man acquired the HIV after a relationship with another man.
Despite extensive inquiries, that man was unable to be located and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On Sunday night the accused man was detained at Sydney Airport by Australian Federal Police by virtue of the arrest warrant and was taken to Surry Hills Police Station where police alleged he did not inform the other man of his HIV status.
In NSW people living with HIV do not have to disclose their status to sexual partners if they are taking reasonable precautions to prevent the transmission HIV.
However, a person can be charged with deliberate or reckless transmission of HIV.
The maximum fine for failing to inform a sexual partner of a HIV positive status is $5500 and there are criminal offences that apply for infecting another person with HIV. Penalties for these offences include jail terms.
HIV Legal Working Group chair Paul Kidd said charges for intentionally or recklessly transmitting HIV can happen anywhere in Australia but this new case is only one of a few that has occurred in NSW.
He said while disclosing a HIV positive status to a sexual partner is a good way to protect yourself against prosecution, it was not always safe to do so.
“People who disclose their status are subject to violence,” he told the Star Observer.
“People have been killed in Australia because of disclosing their status.
“People living with HIV are rightly protective of their status.”
Kidd suggested people living with HIV who choose not to disclose their status to a sexual partner should take necessary precautions to prevent transmission.
For an online resource about disclosing HIV status in NSW, click this link.