Perth man jailed for failing to disclose his positive HIV status to partners

A Perth man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been jailed for five years for not disclosing his positive HIV status to sexual partners. The 30 year old man told four different men that he did not have the virus despite testing positive several years earlier. They all subsequently tested positive.

The West Australian has reported that the 30 year old Perth man who has been in custody since his arrest in January 2018 will have his sentence back dated to July 2019 and will be eligible for parole after serving three years.

The court heard that the man was diagnosed and informed he had contracted HIV in 2012. At this time he was also informed of his legal obligations surrounding living with the virus.

The following year he 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 that man stated that he did not have HIV. After several months of chatting the two men met in 2015 and had unprotected sex. The man became seriously ill a few weeks later and tested positive for the virus four months after his illness. He informed the offender that he tested positive and believed that the offender was also receiving the news that he had the virus for the first time. They maintained a relationship and had sex a further two times two years later.

In 2012 the offender began a long term relationship and told his boyfriend that he did not have the virus on several occasions. In 2014 they began having unprotected sex. The man’s partner became suspicious in 2015 when he discovered antiretroviral medication. He then went had got tested for the virus and discovered that he too was positive. The couple broke up in 2016.

The offender then began had unprotected sex with another man he met on dating app Tinder. He claimed once again that he had been tested and did not have HIV. He also later tested positive to the virus.

Appearing before Judge Troy Sweeney the man offender was charged not with a deliberate act of infecting other people but for unlawfully doing an act likely to endanger his victims’ life health or safety.

The court heard that the man qualified to be on the Autism disorder spectrum, and that he had been bullied a a child. The court heard that he feared being ostracised if people that he had HIV. The court also heard accusations that the man regularly described himself as being HIV negative on a variety of dating sites, but this accusation was denied by the defendant.

Read more at The West Australian 

Advances in HIV medication have seen that people living with the virus, who maintain an undetectable viral load, are no longer able to pass on the virus to other people. Additionally the introduction of PrEP treatment has allowed people who do not have the virus to protect themselves from being exposed to it during sexual relations.

For more information on HIV visit the WA AIDS Council.

Comments on this article have been closed for legal reasons. 

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