Singapore: Man pleads guilty to HIV exposure following oral sex




HIV-infected man charged with failing to tell teen partner

May 9, 2008
Source: The Earth Times

A chef infected with the HIV virus was charged in a Singapore court with engaging in oral sex with a 16-year-old without informing him of the risks, news reports said on Thursday.

In the first case of its kind in the city-state, CX, 43, pleaded guilty to the charge and another of committing an act of gross indecency with the teenager. Failing to disclose HIV to a potential partner carries a fine of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (600 US dollars) or up to two years in jail, or both, The Straits Times said.

The two allegedly performed the sex acts in a cubicle of a men’s toilet at a shopping centre on September 15 last year, the court heard. The man faces a jail term of up to two years on the gross indecency charge.

Stiffer penalties were passed by parliament last month, but have yet to go into effect. The health ministry has investigated similar cases in the past, but no one was prosecuted until Wednesday.

Editorial comment

The first-ever prosecution for criminal HIV exposure is now taking place in Singapore, two weeks after a law increasing the maximum penalty from two to ten years – and making it illegal to have unprotected sex even if you suspect you might be HIV-positive – was passed, although it not yet come into effect.

A 43-year old chef was charged under existing 1992 laws with “engaging in oral sex with a 16-year-old without informing him of the risks”. He faces up to two years in prison and/or a £3730 fine.

If, as one might imagine given the situation (an encounter in a public toilet between a younger and older man) that the HIV-positive man was the man doing the sucking (i.e. the receptive partner), then, in fact, there was only a theoretical risk of HIV exposure (the extremely low risk of HIV transmission via oral sex is only there for the receptive partner, and is based primarily on the viral load of the HIV-positive person and the oral health of the receptive partner).