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Australia: Community advocates call for decriminalisation of HIV and an implementation of U=U education campaign to remove stigma

Calls for review of Western Australia’s HIV Laws
November 12, 2018

Calls for review of Western Australia’s HIV Laws

Community advocates are calling for a review of Western Australian legislation relating to HIV, and criminalisation.

Grassroots organisation HIV Institute of WA have issued an open letter to Attorney General John Quigley, highlighting the relationship between HIV criminalisation and stigma faced by people living with HIV and the importance of the U=U (Undetectable = Untransmissible) campaign.

The letter, signed by spokesperson Neil Buckley, also notes the recent fake email sent to voters of Wentworth, suggesting candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps had withdrawn from the race after having been diagnosed with HIV. 

“The stigma in our own backyard needs addressing, implementing the U=U education campaign in the wider community would be a start to decriminalizing HIV and removing stigma which is a barrier to testing treatments.”

The group also raise concerns about the ambiguity in the phrasing of the current Western Australian Health Act. Currently the Act states that “a person who has a notifiable infection disease must take all reasonable precautions to ensure that others are not unknowingly placed at risk of contracting the disease.”

“What exactly constitutes reasonable practices is unclear and currently left up to the courts to decide,” the letter reads.

“Today, those with an undetectable viral load are believed to be un-infectious yet no court in Australia has ruled that this satisfies the reasonable precautions test. This ambiguity is concerning and can leave many unclear on whether they could face criminal charges.”

“While no criminal laws in Western Australia target HIV specifically, it can be prosecuted under assault-based offenses, which carry multi-year prison sentences.”

“While usually only applied to individuals that intentionally transmit HIV, it can be used against those that are only deemed negligent in their exposure.” the group highlight.

OIP Staff

Published in Out in Perth on November 12, 2018

US: PJP update – November 2018

PJP update – November 2018
November 12, 2018

The PJP Update – November 2018

CHLP Original Publication

National Advocacy

A Webinar and Convening on the Criminalization of Viral Hepatitis

CHLP Staff Attorney Kate Boulton and National Community Outreach Coordinator Arpita Appannagari presented a webinar in October with Mike Selick from Harm Reduction Coalition, and Tina Broder (not pictured) from the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. Punishment is not a Public Health Strategy: The Criminalization of Viral Hepatitis in the United States was an educational opportunity for advocates working in the connected fields of harm reduction, viral hepatitis treatment access, and HIV criminalization and was attended by about 200 people. The recording and slides are online.

The webinar was a lead-in to a November 1 convening on the same topic led again by CHLP, Harm Reduction Coalition and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. Twenty leaders in the viral hepatitis, treatment access, harm reduction, and HIV criminal law reform movements gathered for a day-long meeting in Louisville. Together, they shared experiences and strategized about how to broaden the growing HIV decriminalization movement to include those living with viral hepatitis in the United States.

The Fine Print Blog—The Writing’s on the Wall: HIV anti-criminalization advocacy cannot ignore sex workers

Kate Boulton blogged on the recent Williams Institute report on HIV criminal laws in Florida showing that sex workers face disproportionate harm from HIV criminal laws. Kate argues that reform efforts that exclude those experiencing the most harm further stigmatize sex workers and overlook the racial, economic, and gender biases that blight our criminal legal system. Justice doesn’t trickle down…reform must support the majority of those affected by HIV criminalization. Read the full blog here.

HIV Criminalization Beyond Non-Disclosure at the Harm Reduction Conference

In October, Arpita Appannagari traveled to New Orleans for the 12th Annual Harm Reduction Conference to present with Kiefer Paterson of Harm Reduction Coalition, Kate D’Adamo of Reframe Health and Justice, and Nora Fuller (not pictured) of AIDS United on HIV Criminalization Beyond Non-Disclosure: Advocacy Toolkits on Intersections with Sex Work and Syringe Use. Their presentation highlighted the need to build intersectional advocacy within the HIV criminal law reform movement. Data from Georgia and California, as well as more recent analysis from Florida, confirm that hyper-criminalized populations such as sex workers bear most of the harm from HIV criminalization. Legal reform must include these communities and the laws that directly affect them to tackle the ways in which HIV criminal laws are implemented on the ground.

A Pair of Presentations at the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA)

Kate Boulton and Arpita Appannagari presented at the annual United States Conference on AIDS in Orlando in September. This four-day conference brought together hundreds of HIV advocates to build capacity and share experiences to end HIV in the U.S. Kate presented with Eric Paulk of Georgia Equality and Kaleb Anderson, a student at Depauw University, on race, the U=U campaign and HIV criminal law reform. Arpita presented with Eric Paulk, Robert Suttle of the Sero Project, and Nora Fuller of AIDS United on structural interventions to end the criminalization of PLHIV.

U=U and HIV Criminal Law Reform Webinar Reprised

Kate Boulton, Eric Paulk of Georgia Equality, Carrie Foote of IUPUI/HIV Modernization Movement Indiana, and Mariah Wilberg of the Minnesota Department of Health presented a webinar version of their HINAC3 presentation: U=U and HIV Criminal Law Reform: Lessons from Current State Advocacy as a part of the After HINAC webinar series. The recording of this webinar is online.

State Advocacy

State Advocacy Working Groups

Most states are not currently in legislative session but state advocates continue to meet and strategize around HIV criminal law reform.

State Advocacy Working Groups

Most states are not currently in legislative session but state advocates continue to meet and strategize around HIV criminal law reform.

Arkansas HIV Reform Initiative
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month at 11:00 AM (CT).
If you/your organization are interested in supporting HIV criminal reform efforts in Arkansas, please contact Arpita Appannagari at aappannagari@hivlawandpolicy.org

California
If you/your organization are interested in supporting ongoing efforts by California advocates, please contact Brad Lundahl at brad@eqca.org or 323-848-9801 for additional information.

Florida HIV Justice Coalition
Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM (ET).
If you/your organization are interested in supporting HIV criminal reform efforts in Florida, please contact Kamaria Laffrey at kamaria.laffrey@seroproject.com

Georgia HIV Justice Coalition
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM (ET).
If you/your organization are interested in supporting HIV criminal reform efforts in Georgia, please contact Johnnie Kornegay at johnnie.kornegay@counternarrative.org.

Idaho Coalition for HIV Health and Safety
If you/your organization are interested in supporting ongoing efforts by Idaho advocates, please contact Kevin Lish at kevin.lish@allunderoneroof.org for additional information.

Indiana HIV Modernization Movement
If you/your organization are interested in supporting HIV criminal reform efforts in Indiana, please contact Carrie Foote at foote@iupui.edu.

Louisiana Coalition on Criminalization and Health
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 11:00 AM (CT).
If you/your organization are interested in information about HIV criminalization in Louisiana or joining the LCCH, please contact Chip Eakins at ceakins@philadelphiacenter.org.

Michigan Coalition for HIV Health and Safety
If you/your organization are interested in supporting ongoing efforts by Michigan advocates, please contact Kelly Doyle at kdoyle@caresswm.org.

Missouri HIV Justice Coalition
Meetings are held on the second Friday of the month at 1:00 PM (CT).
If you/your organization are interested in working with the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition, please contact Ashley Quinn at ashley@empowermissouri.org or visit the coalition’s website for more information.

Ohio Health Modernization Movement
Meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at 5:00 PM (CT). 
If you/your organization would like information on HIV criminalization in Ohio or are interested in working with the Ohio Health Modernization Movement, please contact Kim Welter at kim@equalityohio.org.

Southern HIV Decriminalization Network
Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month at 3:00 PM (ET)
If you/your organization would like information on HIV criminalization in the South or are interested in working with the Southern HIV Decriminalization Network, please contact Charles Stephens at charles.stephens@counternarrative.org.

Russia: Woman living with HIV in Ulyanovsk faces up to one year imprisonment for not disclosing her status

Суд над ВИЧ–инфицированной в Ульяновске. Не сообщила о статусе партнеру
November 8, 2018

Trial of a woman living with HIV in Ulyanovsk. Status of the partner was not reported.

A woman with a positive HIV status has entered into a sexual relationship with a man, but forgot to notify him about the risks, and therefore put her partner ar risk. “In 2005, a resident of Ulyanovsk found out about her HIV status. In 2016, she met a man with whom she met for two years closer to marriage and reported her illness,” the prosecutor’s office said.  Now she faces up to 1 imprisonment. The case went to court.

Published in UlCity.RF on November 8, 2018

Суд над ВИЧ-инфицированной в Ульяновске. Не сообщила о статусе партнеру
Женщина с положительным ВИЧ-статусом вступила в сексуальные отношения с мужчиной, но забыла уведомить о рисках, в связи с чем поставила своего партнера под “удар”. “В 2005 году жительница Ульяновска узнала о своем ВИЧ-статусе. В 2016 году она познакомилась с мужчиной, с которым встречалась на протяжении двух лети ближе к замужеству сообщила о своем заболевании”, – сообщает прокуратура.  Теперь ей грозит до 1 лишения свободы.  Дело передано в суд.

Russia: 41-year-old man arrested in Tyumen for alleged HIV infection

Тюменские полицейские задержали мужчину, который осознанно заразил ВИЧ новую знакомую на вечеринке Об этом сообщает Рамблер.
November 5, 2018

Tyumen policemen detained a man who knowingly infected a new HIV friend at a party  (Google translation of article in Russian. For original, please scroll down)

A woman who is infected with an incurable disease is lonely and she has no children.
Police in the Uvat District detained a 41-year-old resident of a neighboring region who infected a 36-year-old woman with HIV. According to police, since the beginning of this year, the suspect has been diagnosed with HIV infection. He had been warned about criminal liability in the case someone would get infected with this disease. Despite this, the man entered into an intimate relationship with a woman at a party of her relatives, without warning her about the possible danger.
– For the irresponsible actions of the suspect criminal liability under the article “Infection with HIV.” For concealing his illness, he faces up to a year in prison, ”explained the press service of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs . This man is an HIV-dissident – the police did not specify. About the suspect, it is known only that he was repeatedly convicted. A similar incident occurred in the Vagai district two years ago. A woman who had HIV has an intimate relationship with a fellow villager and infected him. A year later, the man was diagnosed with a dangerous infection. As a result, a 33-year-old woman was put on trial. She was found guilty of infecting her partner with HIV, but was left free. Taking into account the mitigating circumstances (the woman has a small child, they also took into account her state of health) the villager was given two years conditionally. 

Published on November 1, 2018 in Rambler.ru

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Тюменские полицейские задержали мужчину, который осознанно заразил ВИЧ новую знакомую на вечеринке  Об этом сообщает Рамблер. 

Женщину, которую заразили неизлечимой болезнью, одинокая и она не имеет детей
Полицейские Уватского района задержали 41-летнего жителя соседней области, который заразил ВИЧ-инфекцией 36-летнюю женщину. По данным полиции, с начала этого года у подозреваемого была выявлена ВИЧ-инфекция. Тогда его предупредили об уголовной ответственности в случае заражения кого-то этим заболеванием. Несмотря на это, мужчина вступил в интимную связь с женщиной на вечеринке ее родственников, не предупредив о возможной опасности.
— За безответственные действия подозреваемому предусмотрена уголовная ответственность по статье «Заражение ВИЧ-инфекцией». За сокрытие своей болезни ему грозит до года лишения свободы, — пояснили в пресс-службе областного УМВД. Является этот мужчина ВИЧ-диссидентом — в полиции не уточнили. О подозреваемом известно лишь то, что он был неоднократно судим. Похожий случай произошёл в Вагайском районе два года назад. Женщина, болеющая ВИЧ, вступила в интимную связь с односельчанином и заразила его. Через год у мужчины была выявлена опасная инфекция. В результате этого 33-летнюю женщину отдали под суд. Ее признали виновной в заражении партнера ВИЧ-инфекцией, но оставили на свободе. С учетом смягчающих обстоятельств (у женщины есть маленький ребенок, также учли ее состояние здоровья) сельчанке дали два года условно. Об этом сообщает Рамблер. Далее: https://news.rambler.ru/other/41184423/?utm_content=rnews&utm_medium=read_more&utm_source=copylink

[Update] US: Trial to start for Pensacola Man arrested a year ago for alleged HIV transmission and non-disclosure

HIV arrest: Pensacola man accused of knowingly transmitting virus is heading to court
November 5, 2018

HIV arrest: Pensacola man accused of knowingly transmitting virus is heading to court

A Pensacola man, accused of not sharing his HIV-positive status is heading to court.

Rasheem Bodiford, who was previously being held at the Florida State Hospital, is back behind bars in Escambia County.

On November 14, he will face a judge for a competency hearing.

Bodiford was arrested in November 2017, after Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille says three different women accused him of failing to disclose his HIV-positive diagnosis before having sex with them.

Reports state all three women allegedly contracted the virus from Bodiford.

“It is a crime in the state of Florida to engage in sexual activity without first advising your partner and that person consenting to that sexual contact,” said Marcille.

Marcille says prosecuting cases like this one comes with challenges.

“we actually have to prove that they are aware that they have the illness,” said Marcille. “and secondly, that by engaging in sex with another individual, they could infect the other, their partner.”

There is still no cure for HIV, but Dr. John Lanza with the Florida Department of Health says treatment has come a long way.

“HIV used to be a death sentence,” said Lanza. “You’re going to be on medications your whole life, but you’re going to live to 70, 80, 90, whatever…”

According to Florida statute, most sexually transmitted disease charges are misdemeanors, but an HIV charge is a felony. With recent medical advancements, some argue the law needs to catch up.

“No one goes around accusing someone of giving them a cold, and filing charges against them,” said Kamaria Laffrey.

Laffrey is with the Sero Project, a group working to modernize the law in regard to prosecuting those with the virus – including non-disclosure cases like Bodiford’s.

“This is a nationwide, actually a global issue of people being criminalized for a health diagnosis,” said Laffrey.

Laffrey says it is everyone’s responsibility to know their status, and believes there should not be a law mandating people disclose their HIV diagnosis.

“It’s unjust, it’s outdated and it further perpetuates the stigma,” said Laffrey.

Cases like Bodiford’s do not come around often says Marcille. He has seen less than ten in the past 20 years.

“They do come to our office on an occasional basis, but it is a very unusual type charge for us to receive,” said Marcille.

If found guilty, Bodiford faces up to 15 years in prison.

Published in weartv on November 3, 2018

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ESCO Report: Man with HIV infects several women

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man for having sex with at least three women and not informing them he was HIV positive.

The incidents happened between September 2016 and October 2017 in Escambia County and Pensacola per the warrant.

The first woman stated she tested positive twice for HIV in May and June of 2017. She told authorities Rasheem Bodiford “never warned her he was HIV positive”.

The woman stated she had seen Bodiford with HIV medication in January or February of this year but he denied having HIV.

Last month, authorities interviewed a second woman who stated she had healthy twins by him. She stated she had a sexually relationship with Bodiford in October 2016 and it ended sometime in April or May of this year.

She also reported seeing Bodiford with HIV medication but she claims he said it ‘belonged to his uncle, and he was selling it for him”.

The second alleged victim also tested positive for HIV in June 2017. Deputies said she gave them names of other women Bodiford had contact with.

On October 2017, another person stated they began having unprotected sex with him in August of 2017 until last month.

Boniford confessed to deputies he is HIV positive. A relative listed in the report stated she believed he’s known since 2012 of his sexual status.

Investigators believe there could be more victims.

Published in Weartv.com on November 22nd 2017

[Update] UK: 26 year-old man loses appeal against conviction and sentence for intentional HIV exposure / transmission

Daryll Rowe, The Man Who Spread HIV To Grindr Users, Was Officially Sentenced
November 2, 2018
HIV hairdresser Daryll Rowe loses appeal against sentence

A MAN found guilty of deliberately trying to infect 10 men with HIV has lost challenges against his conviction and sentence.

Hairdresser Daryll Rowe watched proceedings via video link from prison as leading judges rejected his appeal applications on Thursday.

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with two other judges at the Court of Appeal in London, announced that the grounds presented on his behalf in relation to both conviction and sentence were “unarguable”.

Rowe, now 28, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 12 years by a judge at Brighton Crown Court in April.

He became the first man in the country to be found guilty of intentionally setting out to spread the virus.

Felicity Gerry QC had argued on Rowe’s behalf during the appeal proceedings that a submission of “no case to answer” should have been accepted by the trial judge.

She said: “Our primary submissions are that the submission of no case to answer should have succeeded.

“That not having succeeded, the summing up was inadequate.”

But the prosecution argued that there was “no merit” in the “bold” submissions made on Rowe’s behalf.

Rowe was convicted of 10 charges – five of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.

His victims cannot be identified for legal reasons and Lady Justice Hallett emphasised that nothing must be published which could lead to their identification.

At his trial, Rowe was accused of launching a deliberate campaign to infect gay men he met on a dating app after being diagnosed in April 2015 in his home city of Edinburgh.

He had sex with eight of them in Brighton, East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, and later with two others in the North East.

Rowe told jurors he believed he had been cured of the virus by the time he moved to Brighton, having adopted the practice of drinking his own urine as a treatment, supplemented with natural remedies, including oregano, coconut and olive leaf oils.

Published in the Argus on November 2, 2018 

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Daryll Rowe jailed for deliberately trying to spread HIV in Scotland

Hairdresser serving life sentence for similar crimes in England given further eight years

A hairdresser who tried to infect men with HIV has been jailed for eight years in Scotland.

Daryll Rowe, 27, intentionally had unprotected sex while fully aware he was carrying the virus. He admitted four counts of culpable and reckless conduct at the high court in Edinburgh on Friday.

Rowe, who is serving a life sentence for similar offences in England, was given an eight-year prison term at the Edinburgh court and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Police Scotland said Rowe, who was diagnosed in April 2015, would meet men using online dating apps and enter into sexual relationships without disclosing his condition.

He would either refrain from wearing a condom, or tamper with it as he deliberately sought to infect others. He continued to commit similar offences in Edinburgh, north-east England and Sussex between October 2015 and December 2016.

Rowe was jailed for life last month for trying to infect 10 men in England after becoming the first man in the country to be found guilty of intentionally trying to spread HIV.

DCI Martin MacLean of Police Scotland said: “Daryll Rowe is a devious and deceptive predator who has shown absolutely no remorse for the extensive suffering and distress he has caused his victims.

“Since April 2015, he was fully aware of his illness yet refused treatment that would ensure his own health and safeguard his sexual partners from the risk of infection. To make matters worse, he would then knowingly engage in sexual activity with individuals he met without divulging his condition.

“Rowe would then go to great lengths to ensure he put partners at risk of contracting HIV, demonstrating the callous and reckless nature of his character. It is my sincere hope that all those affected by Daryll Rowe’s calculated criminality feel some sense of justice after today’s outcome.”

Published in the Guardian on May 4, 2018

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Man jailed for life after deliberately infecting others with HIV

Daryll Rowe tried to infect 10 men, five of whom went on to test positive for the virus

A hairdresser has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years at Brighton crown court after deliberately trying to infect 10 men with HIV.

Daryll Rowe, 27, from Brighton, showed no emotion as he was sentenced for five charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.

After being diagnosed in April 2015 in his home city of Edinburgh, Rowe met men on gay dating app Grindr and had sex with eight of them in Brighton, East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, before fleeing to the north-east where he went on the run from police, targeting two more men.

His six-week trial heard he embarked on a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect men with HIV, refusing treatment and ignoring advice from doctors.

He insisted on having unprotected sex with men, claiming he was “clean”. When they refused, he tampered with condoms, tricking them into thinking he was practising safe sex.

Afterwards Rowe would become aggressive and taunted some of the men in text messages. He repeatedly lied to authorities and would use aliases with his victims.

Judge Christine Henson QC, sentencing, referred to his crimes as a “determined hateful campaign of sly violence”.

“You are the first individual to be sentenced for section 18 offences in the context of infecting others with HIV,” she said.

“With the full knowledge of the risk you posed to others and the legal implications of engaging in risky sexual practices, you embarked on a deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus.

“Unfortunately for five of the men you met your campaign was successful.”

The judge added: “They describe living with a life sentence as a result of your cruel and senseless acts. Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you.

“Given the facts of this case and your permissive predatory behaviour I cannot see when you would no longer be a danger to gay men.

“In my judgment the offences, taken together, are so serious, that a life sentence is justified. You will potentially remain a danger to others for the rest of your life.”

Published in the Guardian on April 18, 2018

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Hairdresser found guilty of trying to infect 10 Grindr dates with HIV

Daryll Rowe convicted of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempting to do so

A hairdresser has been found guilty of deliberately infecting five men with HIV and trying to infect a further five after meeting them on the dating app Grindr.

Daryll Rowe, 27, was convicted of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and a further five counts of attempted GBH, following a trial at Lewes crown court.

Jurors were shown evidence that Rowe had taunted his victims, texting one: “I have HIV. Lol. Whoops!”

The prosecution said Rowe went on a “campaign” in the Brighton area to infect as many men as possible during a four-month period from October 2015, and warned that there might be further victims.

The court heard that Rowe repeatedly sabotaged condoms, and then mocked victims saying that he was “riddled” with the virus after they raised concerns. One man said that Rowe was “laughing” when he called, adding: “Burn. I got you.”

Rowe was first arrested in February 2016, but denied that he was HIV positive in his first police interview. The police put out a public health warning, asking men who had had sex with a man matching Rowe’s description to contact the authorities.

Rowe then went on the run in November 2016, targeting two more men in the north-east while using a fake name. When he was finally arrested, he was found with a rucksack of sabotaged condoms.

The court heard that Rowe was aggressive and abusive towards his victims. In one incident, Rowe told an Aids and HIV charity worker, who was diagnosed after they were involved, that “moaning” would not cure him.

The charity worker had never had unprotected sex and was taking tests every six months. He described the news of his diagnosis as like being “hit by a bus”, adding: “You feel like your life is over. You feel like you should go to a high place and jump.”

One victim said that he had believed that Rowe was his boyfriend, but that the hairdresser had become increasingly abusive and possessive over the course of the relationship.

Rowe looked after him when the younger man was first diagnosed, but sent abusive messages after they broke up, including: “You’re a f****** psychopath, you’re afraid of your own shadow. I can do much better than you. I’m way, way out of your league.”

Another text said: “No-one will ever love you.”

Originally from Edinburgh, Rowe was diagnosed with the virus in April 2015. Doctors became concerned when he stopped turning up to appointments and refused antiretroviral treatment, which would have made him less contagious.

Rowe had been warned that he could be prosecuted for passing on the virus, and prosecutors said that the explicit messages to his victims showed a detailed knowledge of the disease and its treatments.

The court heard that several victims were infected with a very similar HIV strain to that carried by Rowe, making it highly likely he was the source of the virus.

Over the course of the trial, Rowe denied deliberately infecting the men, but the jury of seven women and five men returned the verdicts after 18 hours of deliberating.

Rowe said that he thought he had cured himself of HIV after taking a variety of non-traditional medication, including “urine therapy”.

Rowe, who cried in the dock, said: “I never had in my mind before, during or after any of the sex that I wanted to pass on HIV to anybody.”

He said he did not remember the text saying: “I have HIV”.

Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting, said it was “convenient” he could not remember sending the “damning text” and branded him a “comfortable liar”.

 Published in the Guardian on Nov 16, 2017

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Man with HIV tried to infect partners he met on Grindr, court told

Daryll Rowe allegedly sent mocking text messages telling partners in Brighton he was HIV positive and they could be at risk

A hairdresser deliberately tried to infect his lovers with HIV after meeting them on Grindr, a court has heard.

Daryll Rowe, 26, is accused of insisting on unprotected sex with his partners, claiming to be free of the virus, and of tampering with the condom when they insisted he used them.

He later sent mocking text messages telling his partners he was HIV positive and that they could be at risk, Lewes crown court heard.

One received a text saying: “Maybe you have the fever. I came inside you and I have HIV LOL. Oops!”

Rowe, who is originally from Edinburgh, is charged with infecting four men with the virus and attempting to infect a further six between October 2015 and December 2016.

He was living and working in the Brighton area at the time of the alleged offences. Rowe denies the charges.

The prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC described his alleged crimes as “a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with HIV”.

Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in April 2015 while he was living in Edinburgh, after a sexual health clinic contacted him to tell him a former partner had the virus.

Doctors found he was coping well with his diagnosis, Carberry told the court, but they were concerned when he refused vaccination for common illnesses to which HIV-positive patients are susceptible, such as pneumonia.

They were also worried when he refused antiretroviral drugs that can slow the development of the virus and make those infected less contagious, jurors heard.

“He was warned he could be prosecuted for passing [HIV] on or even putting someone at risk of contracting HIV from him,” Carberry said. “He told his doctors he was not going to engage in any unprotected sex again, but failed to attend further appointments in Edinburgh and by this time he had moved to Brighton.

“He had no obvious family or other connections in the area, although he had been in communication online on a dating app, Grindr, with a number of men. Through Grindr, the prosecution say, he was in contact with men that he would later go on to infect or attempt to affect with HIV.”

The court heard that one of the complainants last tested negative for HIV on the morning he met Rowe, in October 2015, and he did not have sex again before he was diagnosed with the virus two months later.

In a phone call to another partner, who had insisted he use a condom, Rowe allegedly said: “I ripped the condom. You’re so stupid. You didn’t even know.”

Another man had only had one sexual partner before Rowe and considered him to be his boyfriend, the court heard.

The judge Christine Henson has granted all victims the right to lifelong anonymity and the option to give evidence from behind a screen so they will not have to face Rowe in court.

After two complainants came forward, Sussex police launched Operation Brickhill and a community-wide public health warning in the Brighton area to look for further possible victims.

The trial continues and is expected to last six weeks.

Published in the Guardian on Oct 6, 2017

[Update] UK: Lancashire man sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for alleged HIV transmission

Father who ’deliberately’ infected two women with HIV claims he was contaminated when a man sexually abused him
October 30, 2018

Father who ‘deliberately’ infected two women with HIV claims he was contaminated when a man sexually abused him

A man who “deliberately” infected two women with the HIV told a court he got the virus when a man sexually abused him. 

Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, of Fleetwood, Lancashire, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after admitting two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Sutcliffe was diagnosed with HIV in 2008 but failed to disclose the fact to his two victims, who both remain terrified they will pass on the virus to their children.

The court heard following Sutcliffe’s diagnosis he was offered counselling, treatment and advised of his moral and legal responsibilities towards future partners.

But the court heard he disengaged from services and ‘buried his head in the sand’, and slept with the two women – between 2009 and 2016 – without telling them he had HIV. 

One of the women told Preston Crown Court that the defendant had “condemned” her to a “life sentence”.

Sentencing, Judge Philip Parry told Sutcliffe he had had a “moral and legal obligation” to bring his status to the attention of any potential sexual partner.

He said: “You wilfully and deliberately withheld your status to two women that you professed to care for. That was deceitful, calculated and manipulative.

“You took the coward’s way out, kept your silence and infected them. You had no right to do so.

“You bore an overwhelming responsibility for your own selfish actions which have left such devastation in your wake.”

Judge Parry also imposed a sexual harm prevention order on Sutcliffe which – until further notice – prohibits him from engaging in lawful sex with another person unless he has told them he has HIV and they understood and acknowledged the disclosure.

Previously, Sutcliffe was subject to an order which required him to provide contact details of partners to Lancashire Police’s public protection unit and then wait for written approval before having intercourse wearing a condom.

The court heard Sutcliffe, of Westhead Walk, was not classed as a dangerous offender but poses a high risk of reoffending by not telling partners about his condition.

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Lancashire man pleads guilty to infecting two women with HIV

Aaron Sutcliffe, of Fleetwood, admits he maliciously infected two sexual partners

A Lancashire man has pleaded guilty to infecting two women with HIV.

Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, of Fleetwood, admitted unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm by having sex with one of his victims on a date between January and May 2016. He had been due to go on trial at Preston crown court over the matter.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the same offence involving another woman between January 2009 and September 2010.

His barrister, Julie Taylor, told the court that Sutcliffe was the complainant in a separate, ongoing police investigation into claims he was infected by a man.

The hearing was adjourned for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports. Sentencing was provisionally scheduled for 2 November.

Sutcliffe was granted bail on the conditions of non-contact with the complainants and residence at a registered address.

In June, Blackpool magistrates granted Lancashire police an application for a sexual risk prevention order against Sutcliffe, which requires him to get permission from them to have sex with any new partner.

The two-year order means he must provide contact details of partners to the force’s public protection unit and then wait for written approval before he engages in sex.

Published in the Guardian on August 15, 2018

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Father-of-three, 29, who ‘deliberately infected two women with HIV’ is told he must get written permission from police before he can have sex

  • Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, must tell police officers the name of future sexual partners
  • Order states that Sutcliffe is a sexual risk to the public which needs protecting
  • Sutcliffe has been charged with causing GBH by infecting two women with HIV 

A man has been ordered that he must get written permission from the police if he wants to have sex.

Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, must tell police officers of the name of anyone he is proposing to have intercourse with.

Magistrates ruled that HIV carrier Sutcliffe is a risk to the public both in the and abroad and made him the subject of a full Sexual Risk Prevention Order.

The order states that unemployed Sutcliffe, of Fleetwood, Lancashire is a sexual risk to the public which needs protecting from harm.

From now on he must tell the police public protection unit of any potential sex partner and whether he proposes sex.

The order covers both males and females.

He must provide officers with contact details of the person to officers and must wait to get written police permission before he goes ahead with a sex act.

The order granted today also states he must not have any of the forms of intercourse without wearing a condom on each occasion.

‘You must stop having sex immediately if there is any indication if there is any indication that the condom is in any way damaged or deficient,’ the order states.

‘You must tell the police public protection unit in the area where you live of the identity of the person you intend to have sex with.’

‘You must provide contact details of that person to the unit and get written acknowledgement of the notification.’

‘This order covers vaginal, oral and anal sex.’

The reality of the order means that police will contact anyone Sutcliffe’s wants to be intimate with and officers will make sure the person is aware of his sexual past.

Defence lawyer Patrick Nelligan did not oppose the order and said: ‘Mr Sutcliffe has gained his condition as a result of a crime against him which is being investigated.’

‘He knows his future sexual behaviour must be appropriate. His current partner is fully aware of the situation. If he engages in a sexual relationship with anyone else that person must be told.’

The two year order was successfully applied for by Lancashire Police prosecutor Chris Keogh at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

After the hearing police confirmed that father of three Sutcliffe has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm to two women by infecting them with the HIV virus.  

Published in the Daily Mail on June 22, 2018

Zimbabwe: Court discharges man accused of alleged deliberate HIV transmission

Man acquitted of HIV deliberate infection charges
October 29, 2018

Man acquitted of HIV deliberate infection charges

A RUSAPE man Samuel Mutwira who was facing humiliating allegations of deliberately infecting his girlfriend with HIV was this week acquitted by Rusape regional magistrate Mr Livingstone Chipadza.

Mutwira, who was represented by burly Rusape lawyer Mr Maxwell Chiwanza, of Chiwanza and Partners had applied for discharge at the close of the State case arguing that the case against him was weak. Mr Chipadza concurred and granted the application arguing that the woman was simply extorting Mutwira and that the State failed to establish prima facie case against him.

“This is clear case of extortion. The complainant noted that the accused person had stopped paying her and went on to make a police report. There are also inconsistencies as to when she got HIV. Complainant intended to exploit the accused person. It is not clear whether by the time the complainant fell in love with accused person she was free from HIV. They were never tested together before being intimate. Complainant is trying to fix the accused person for stopping to pay her,” said Mr Chipadza.

The blossoming romantic affair between Mutwira and his concubine, twice younger than him, ended in acrimony after she reported him to police for deliberately infecting her with HIV.

The lady (23), who resides in the Crocodile area, had launched a two-pronged fight against Mutwira (50), of the adjacent Silverbow suburb in Rusape by filling civil and criminal charges against him.

In the criminal case Mutwira was accused of violating Section 79 (1) of the Criminal Law Codification Act Chapter 9:23, which makes it an offence for someone who is HIV positive to have unprotected sex with a partner without disclosure.

He pleaded not guilty.

Published in Bulawayo 24 on October 27, 2018

Update of global database on HIV specific travel and residence restrictions shows 49 countries restrict long-term stays and 13 have punitive laws

HIV Travel: The Global Database on HIV–specific Travel and Residence restrictions is updated
October 25, 2018

This is a joint collaboration between the International AIDS Society (IAS), the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), the German AIDS Federation (DAH) and Positive Council Switzerland.

Below you can find an update by the International AIDS Society, as it was shared with its members:


The global database was updated in July 2018 and shared at the 22nd International AIDS Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The good news:

  • Taiwan and South Korea have abolished all existing restrictions
  • Singapore has eased its laws and is now allowing short-term stays
  • Canada is making it easier for people living with HIV to obtain a residence permit
  • No country has introduced new legislation or punitive laws affecting people living with HIV
  • New information from several countries indicates they are “free of restrictions” (Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Rwanda and Turkmenistan)

The bad news:

Entry bars, restrictions for short-term and long-term stays persist, and many countries continue to deport people living with HIV.

Countries with entry bars:

  • Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Solomon Islands, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. Russia is listed because a factual entry bar applies to multiple entry visa

Countries deporting people living with HIV:

  • Bahrain, Brunei, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Thirteen countries have punitive laws affecting stays below 90 days. Forty-nine countries restrict long-term stays of more than 90 days. Laws and practices are unclear in 24 countries, while 143 countries have no restrictions. An overview on all restriction categories is available here.

Published on EATG website on October 9,2018

[Update]France: 47-year-old sentenced in Nancy to 24 months, 14 of them suspended, for not disclosing his HIV status to his partners

Séropositivité cachée à Toul : 10 mois de prison ferme
October 24, 2018

Seropositivity hidden in Toul: 10 months in prison

David T., a 47-year-old man from Toulon, was sentenced on Monday by the Nancy Criminal Court to 24 months in prison, 14 of which were suspended and conditional (EMS). He will also have to pay € 3,500 to each of the two victims. The accused, convicted of “voluntary and habitual administration of harmful substances by spouse”, hid his HIV status to two of his companions, in 2009-2010 and between 2012 and 2014. At the hearing, on October 5, the prosecutor had required 18 months including 12 with EMS.

In November 2014, his wife had reported violence, but she had also said that she had discovered in her companion’s papers a report of unfitness to work, and that he had been carrying the HIV virus since 1994. She had also found medicines for people infected with HIV. The man had denied it, even though a blood test showed he was well infected. ” A mistake… “.

David T. always explained that he was not aware of having put the lives of his companions “in danger because the disease had not declared itself”, that he was a “healthy carrier”. He then admitted to “dishonest behaviour”, not trying to “put himself in the shoes of the victims”, being unable to “imagine the feelings” of these ex-companions when they were informed of his HIV status. 

Absent at the hearing, David was represented by his lawyer, Mr. Guillaume Royer. The latter had pleaded the acquittal: “The question is not whether he lied or not lied, whether he is kind or not nice. Let’s put aside moral considerations. The material element of the offense is missing. There was no transmission, there was no contamination.

Séropositivité cachée à Toul : 10 mois de prison ferme

David T., Toulois de 47 ans, a été condamné ce lundi par le tribunal correctionnel de Nancy à 24 mois de prison dont 14 avec sursis et mise l’épreuve (SME). Il devra également verser 3.500 € à chacune des deux victimes. Le prévenu, reconnu coupable d’« administration volontaire et habituelle de substances nuisibles par conjoint », avait caché sa séropositivité à deux de ses compagnes, en 2009-2010 puis entre 2012 et 2014. Lors de l’audience, le 5 octobre, le procureur avait requis 18 mois dont 12 avec SME.

En novembre 2014, sa conjointe avait dénoncé des violences mais elle avait aussi assuré qu’elle avait découvert, dans les papiers de son compagnon, un rapport d’inaptitude au travail, qu’il était en fait porteur du virus du VIH depuis 1994. Elle avait aussi mis la main sur des médicaments pour les personnes infectées par le VIH. L’homme avait nié et ce, alors même qu’une prise de sang démontrait qu’il était bien infecté. « Une erreur… ».

David T. a toujours expliqué qu’il n’avait pas conscience d’avoir mis la vie de ses compagnes « en danger car la maladie ne s’était pas déclarée », qu’il était « porteur sain ». Il avait ensuite reconnu un « comportement malhonnête », en n’essayant pas de se « mettre à la place des victimes », en étant incapable d’« imaginer le ressenti » de ces ex-compagnes lorsqu’elles avaient été informées de sa séropositivité.

Absent à l’audience, David était représenté par son avocat, Me Guillaume Royer. Ce dernier avait plaidé la relaxe : « La question n’est pas de savoir s’il a menti ou pas menti, s’il est gentil ou pas gentil. Mettons de côté les considérations morales. L’élément matériel de l’infraction fait défaut. Il n’y a pas eu de transmission, il n’y a pas eu contamination ».

Eric NICOLAS

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Judged for not revealing his HIV Positive status (google translation, for original article in French, see below)

It is a singular trial which is held this Friday before the magistrates in Nancy. David, a 47-year-old Toulois, is being prosecuted for not having warned two of his former companions that he was HIV-positive.

In legalese, the offense is: “Voluntary and habitual administration of harmful substances by spouse”. Christine, in November 2014, went to the gendarmerie to denounce facts of violence on the part of David, with whom she has been in a couple for two years. She returned some time later to confirm that, in the papers of her spouse, which she has discreetly reviewed, she discovered a report of unfitness for wor and that he had actually been carrying the HIV virus since 1994.

A “Dishonest behaviour”

The man assured his companion that it was not the case, even though the latter discovered in their home drugs for people with HIV, even though a new blood test came to demonstrate that he was indeed infected.

“It’s a mistake …” .

Investigated for failing to inform five ex-girlfriends, with whom he had a relationship between 2006 and 2014, David at first declared that he was not ” aware of having put their lives in danger because the disease had not declared itself. He later admitted that he had had a “dishonest behaviour”, not trying to “put himself in the shoes of the victims”, being unable to “imagine the feelings” of these ex-companions when they had been informed of his HIV. The tests of the 5 exs was negative.

The fact remains that David is being prosecuted but, – legal strangeness -, only for the two young women who were declared unfit for work when they heard the news. Before the investigating judge, the man maintained that he thought he was a “healthy carrier” with regard to the minimal viral load that he presented (undetectable) before recognizing that the risk existed.

For the magistrate who investigated the case, “while it is accepted that undetectable blood viral load significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission, it has not been shown that this risk is reduced to zero. Moreover, the risk of transmission persists since the patient does not regularly take his / her treatment “, as shown by the study of David’s medical file:”

This is not the first time that HIV-positive people have been prosecuted for having had maintained consensual sex, “notes the criminal lawyer Guillaume Royer, David’s lawyer, who will plead for his release. “The law does not prohibit these people from having sexual activity, it punishes deliberate contamination. For ten years now, the Court of Cassation has established a simple principle: there can be no conviction if it is not established that the HIV was transmitted to the partner, who is then carrying the virus. In this case, the partners were not contaminated, so the offense can not be characterized “.

Published in l’Est Republicain on October 5, 2018

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Jugé pour avoir tu sa séropositivité

Un quadragénaire toulois comparaît ce vendredi à Nancy car il n’a pas prévenu deux de ses anciennes compagnes qu’il était infecté par le VIH.

C’est un procès singulier qui se tient ce vendredi devant les magistrats nancéiens. David, Toulois de 47 ans, est poursuivi pour ne pas avoir prévenu deux de ses anciennes compagnes qu’il était séropositif. En jargon juridique, l’infraction est la suivante : « Administration volontaire et habituelle de substances nuisibles par conjoint ».

Christine, en novembre 2014, va à la gendarmerie pour dénoncer des faits de violence de la part de David, avec lequel elle est en couple depuis deux ans. Elle revient quelque temps plus tard pour assurer que, dans les papiers de son conjoint, qu’elle a discrètement compulsés, elle a découvert un rapport d’inaptitude au travail, qu’il est en fait porteur du virus du VIH depuis 1994.

Un « comportement malhonnête »

L’homme assure à sa compagne qu’il n’en est rien, quand bien même cette dernière découvre à leur domicile des médicaments pour les personnes infectées par le VIH, quand bien même également une nouvelle prise de sang vient démontrer qu’il est bien infecté. « C’est une erreur… ».

Mis en examen pour ne pas avoir informé cinq ex-petites amies, avec lesquelles il a eu des relations entre 2006 et 2014, David a dans un premier temps déclaré qu’il n’avait pas « conscience d’avoir mis leur vie en danger car la maladie ne s’était pas déclarée ». Il a ensuite reconnu avoir eu un « comportement malhonnête », en n’essayant pas de se « mettre à la place des victimes », en étant incapable d’« imaginer le ressenti » de ces ex-compagnes lorsqu’elles avaient été informées de sa séropositivité.

Le test VIH des 5 ex s’est avéré négatif. Il n’en demeure pas moins que David est poursuivi mais, – étrangeté juridique -, uniquement pour les deux jeunes femmes qui ont eu une ITT quand elles ont appris la nouvelle.

Devant le juge d’instruction, l’homme a soutenu qu’il se pensait « porteur sain » au regard de la charge virale minime qu’il présentait (non détectable) avant de reconnaître que le risque existait bien. Pour le magistrat qui a instruit le dossier, « s’il est admis qu’une charge virale sanguine indétectable réduit de façon significative le risque de transmission du VIH, il n’est pas démontré que ce risque est réduit à zéro. De plus, le risque de contamination subsiste dès lors que le malade ne prend pas régulièrement son traitement », ce que montre l’étude du dossier médical de David.

« Ce n’est pas la première fois que des personnes séropositives sont poursuivies pour avoir entretenu des relations sexuelles consenties », relève le pénaliste Guillaume Royer, avocat de David, qui plaidera la relaxe. « La loi n’interdit pas à ces personnes d’avoir une activité sexuelle, elle punit la contamination délibérée. Depuis maintenant une dizaine d’années, la Cour de cassation a posé un principe simple : il ne peut y avoir de condamnation s’il n’est pas établi que le VIH a été transmis au partenaire, qui se trouve ensuite porteur du virus. Dans cette affaire, les partenaires n’ont pas été contaminées, le délit ne peut donc être caractérisé ».

 

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