The recent arrest of a 34-year-old gay man for failing to inform his partner of his HIV-positive status has prompted a police warning to the gay community.
Any person who knows they have HIV or any infectious medical condition and does not disclose that information to a sexual partner may face up to 25 years’ jail, Constable Colin Anderson said.
On World AIDS Day we urge the gay community to be aware of the dangers and avoid becoming a victim. Not only can you contract a life-threatening condition but if you allow unknown persons into your home you may become a victim of robbery.
Anderson told Sydney Star Observer the warning was not intended to target HIV-positive people, but to act as a reminder for everyone.
People will assume that if nothing is said, it must be safe, Anderson said. We’re reminding people that that mistake can be made. However, the HIV-positive person is responsible according to the law. We’re focusing on HIV because it’s World AIDS Day. However, anyone who has a transmissible medical condition and doesn’t tell their sexual partner is committing a breach under the Health Act.
The man is in police custody and has been charged with offences including not informing his partner of a sexually transmissible medical condition and attempting to maliciously cause the contraction of a grievous bodily disease.