Gay HIV accused in court

Gay HIV accused in court

A week after a NSW court convicted a Sydney resident for knowingly infecting two women with HIV, a Brisbane gay man has faced court charged with doing the same thing to his lover.

The 37-year-old man pleaded not guilty to a charge of transmitting a serious disease with intent, Australian Associated Press reported. He has also denied an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

The man -“ who cannot be named for legal reasons -“ allegedly met his lover at a central Brisbane gay bar in early 2003.

Before they had unprotected sex, the alleged victim -“ who said he didn’t like using condoms -“ claims the man assured him he was HIV-negative.

When the alleged victim, 42, tested positive to HIV about a month later, his sexual partner maintained he did not have the virus.

But the accused -“ who faced court this week -“ gave a different account to police. He said he had disclosed his HIV status to his lover before they had sex, AAP reported.

He said the alleged victim agreed to have unsafe sex with him because his drinking was extreme at that stage and we were both caught in the same pattern.

Of his decision to have unprotected sex with an HIV-negative partner he said: It’s completely irresponsible on my part, it’s negligent and stupid in the extreme.

Last week, the NSW District Court sentenced Sydney man Stanislas Kanengele-Yondjo to at least nine years in prison after he told two women he was free of HIV and then had unprotected sex with them, infecting them with the virus.

Kanengele-Yondjo was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.

People Living With HIV/AIDS (NSW) executive officer Geoff Honnor said the Brisbane and Sydney cases were a reminder to HIV-positive people to take heed of disclosure laws.

The message for all positive people is that the law is there and it can be used, and disclosure is basically what the law requires, he told Sydney Star Observer.

Recent research suggested disclosure rates were rising, Honnor said.

The NSW Public Health Act requires HIV-positive people to tell sexual partners they have the virus, even if they have safe sex.

For an analysis of the Kanengele-Yondjo case, see article here.

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