Hiv-smittad läkare får sänkt straff
An HIV-positive doctor who was previously convicted for ‘reckless endangerment’ for having had unprotected sex (see below) has had his sentence reduced by the Stockholm Court of Appeal, according to a brief report at DN.se.
Originally convicted to ten months imprisonment by the District Court, the Court of Appeal dropped one of the charges and reduced the man’s remaining prison sentence to four months primarily because there was no evidence of when the physician’s partners were infected.
A gay man in Stockholm who works as a doctor has been sentenced to ten months in prison for ‘reckless endangerment’ and must pay 26,900 kronor (€2825) compensation for having unprotected sex without disclosure with another man.
However, the more serious charge of aggravated assault brought by a second man who alleged that he became HIV-positive as a result of unprotected sex with the defendant was dismissed by the court because “it can not be ruled out that he was infected by someone else.”
The case, reported in the English language at The Local.se, is at least a partial victory: the court appeared to understand that phylogenetic analysis can only be useful as ‘proof’ of transmission if all previous sexual partners prior to an HIV-positive test are also tested and those who are positive included in the analysis.
During sentencing the judge said that since the man worked as a doctor, he ought to have known better.
However, since the maximum prison sentence is two years for this ‘crime’ he was still somewhat lenient – if you accept that a prison sentence for not disclosing your HIV status before sex that may risk HIV exposure (and we don’t know about the doctor’s viral load, or the sexual acts or sexual position which may have reduced the risk to almost zero, or better than using condoms) is ever warranted.