As you all know, HIV is a serious infection that can cause death. It can be transmitted via blood transfusion or even sex. It is so important to know that your partner is completely clean of this disease before having unprotected sex and if the person has already been diagnosed with HIV, the person should inform their partner too.
Source: The Star Online
Unfortunately, a man was diagnosed to HIV four years ago in 2015 and has recently confessed to the police that he had unprotected sex with men he met online without telling him about his condition.
There was a gag order on the accused’s name at the trial. His sexual trysts included relationship with a man that was identified in court as DCS.
The man was in a relationship with DCS but had never mentioned about his condition at all until they splitted up in 2014.
The district court considered the aggravating and mitigating factors and sentenced the man for 17 months jail for not informing DCS of the risk of the infection. He also failed to obtain DCS consent to the risk under the Infectious Diseases Act when they had engaged in sexual activities in 2012 and 2014.
The District Judge, Adam Nakhoda said it was, “wholly irresponsible to expose an innocent party to the risk of contracting the disease” and ruled out that the man’s sexual activity with DCS on multiple occasions over the past two years to be the aggravating factor.
In past cases, the accused person who failed to inform their partners about the HIV status were traced by other means.
This man had pleaded guilty instantly. The judge was minded to sentence the man to about 22 months but then instead reduced the terms to 17 months, given the two mitigating factors.
This matter came to light when the man himself lodged a report against himself on June 23, 2015. Police referred the report to the Health Ministry’s Surveillance and Enforcement Branch that continued the investigation further.
The accused met DCS online and chose to say nothing in mitigation before the court.
The judge noted that although the guilty plea had shown a “measure of remorse”, but the accused also “demonstrated no sorrow or contrition for what he had done”.
The prosecuting officer, Andre Moses Tan Chang Ann said that the usual sentence should be 18 months but then the judge noted that there were no High Court decisions on the sentencing benchmarks for the offence under the relevant law. The usual sentence will apply and there was no aggravating and exceptional mitigating circumstances.
The judge took note of the current case as it was most egregious as the accused had sex on multiple occasions unlike the other cases cited whereby the accused only engaged in sex only on one occasion. He said,
“One should be clear that (the accused’s) risk-taking behaviour could have had very serious consequences for DCS.”
Although there are effective treatments for HIV or Aids, there is no cure as of now. This means the person that is infected will need to remain on a strict regime of medication for a long period of time to keep the disease at bay. This disease he contracted has life-changing effects.
The offender is now serving his sentence while appealing.
In our opinion, though he admitted that he was guilty, it is still as bad as not. The damage has already been done and it is the most selfish move to have unprotected sex with your partner after knowing that HIV can be transmitted and could lead to serious health issues leading to death that cannot be cured.
What do you think?