Singapore: Five men living with HIV jailed for hiding their status before donating blood


5 HIV blood donors jailed in Singapore

December 8, 2005
Source: Hindustan Times

Five HIV-infected men who hid their infected status before donating blood were jailed for terms ranging from 8 to 10 months, news reports said on Thursday.

“While the court sympathises with your medical condition, it cannot ignore the inherent dangers each time a donor gives false information,” The Straits Times quoted District Judge Jasbendar Kaur as saying.

Four of the men were active homosexuals and the fifth had an orgy with several women, the court heard.

There is no payment for blood donations. Kaur said their decision to donate was “commendable”, but stressed the need for all donors to be responsible.

While the reasons the five chose to donate were not disclosed, the judge said there was no doubt they “bore no malice”.

The five donated blood last year and were asked about their sexual history. They lied about their infections with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, and their sexual activities.

With the exception of undergraduate student Wong Shimin, each faced a charge of making a false declaration on the questionnaire before donating blood.

Wong, 22, was jailed 10 months for lying on two occasions when he donated blood on May 29, 2003, and again on June 3, 2004.

The other four – Suhaidi Abas, 37, Tan Yee Wee, 30, Ng Choon Siong, 21, and Lua Bu Chung, 37 – were each jailed for eight months.

Their donations were all destroyed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Crystal Ong urged the court to jail the five, noting a strong message should be sent to potential donors who take a “cavalier” approach when answering the questionnaires.