Police say X failed to disclose HIV before sex, charge him with aggravated assault
City police have issued a public safety message after charging a man with aggravated sexual assault. It’s alleged that X of Ajax had unprotected sex without disclosing his HIV-positive status.
The incidents occurred while X, 18, was living in Peterborough in November and December. He was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
Police say there may be more victims as X has been known to use online dating sites. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 705-876-1122, the Crime Line at 705-876-1122 ext. 555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, www.stopcrimehere.ca.
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed is asked to seek medical attention through their family doctor, or to contact the Peterborough County City Health Unit at 705-743-1000.
The investigation is ongoing.
UPDATE: PARN, the community AIDS resource network, issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:
PARN Statement on HIV Non-Disclosure Charges in Peterborough
At this point in time, we are only aware of the details that have been provided to the public by the Peterborough Police Service. As always in these situations, it is important to remember that these are alleged crimes that have not been proven in a court of law.
It is our position that the criminal law is generally an ineffective and inappropriate tool with which to address HIV exposure. HIV/AIDS is an individual and public health issue first and foremost, and should be addressed as such. All legal and policy responses to HIV/AIDS should be based on the best available evidence, the objectives of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support, and respect for human rights.
Most people living with HIV practice safer sex and/or disclose their status. It is everyone’s responsibility, whether they know their HIV status or not, to ensure that HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are not transmitted. Criminalization disproportionately places the responsibility for preventing HIV transmission on people living with HIV.