A 30-year man from Perth has recently been sentenced to five years imprisonment after he failed to disclose his HIV status to four sexual partners, all of whom later tested positive for the virus.

Appearing before Judge Troy Sweeney, the Western Australian Court was told that the offender had been diagnosed with HIV in 2012. At the time of his diagnosis the offender was also informed of his legal obligations surrounding living with the virus.

The following year the offender denied he was HIV positive to a man he began having unprotected sex with. The man later tested positive for the virus.

In 2014 the offender began chatting to another man on the dating app Squirt. In their conversations the offender stated that he did not have HIV. After several months of chatting the two men met in 2015 and had unprotected sex. The man also tested positive for the virus after later becoming ill.

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 In 2012 the offender entered into a long-term relationship and continued on several occasion to tell his boyfriend that he was HIV negative. In 2014 the two men began to engage in unprotected sex. The following year, and amid growing suspicion, the man’s partner discovered antiretroviral medication and upon being tested was also diagnosed with HIV. The two men ended their relationship in 2016.

Following the end of their relationship, the offender met up with a man through Tinder and had unprotected sex with him after claiming that he did not have HIV. That man also tested positive.

The court heard that the offender qualified to be on the Autism disorder spectrum, and that he had been bullied as a child and that he feared being ostracised if people knew that he had HIV. 

The man, whose identity has been supressed to protect his victims, was arrested in January of 2018. With time already served he will be eligible for release in 2023.

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 Judge Troy Sweeney in her response said that the offender was burying his head “in the sand” and that he had failed in his “duty” to his fellow human beings by not telling the men that he had HIV.

“Your behaviour was so extraordinarily selfish, so utterly self-absorbed,” Sweeney told him. “Apart from the illegality of what you did, it was so grossly immoral to fail to take precautions and to fail to be honest with these four men with whom you were sexually involved.”

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