Zimbabwe: Woman living with HIV on trial for alleged HIV exposure


Conflicting statements as couple’s HIV infection squabble spills into court

August 15, 2017
Source: Chronicla

A GWANDA man has dragged his former wife to court alleging that she deliberately infected him with HIV. The woman, who appeared before regional magistrate Mr Chrispen Mberewere last week facing a charge of deliberate transmission of HIV, alleged the man demanded unprotected sex after alleging he was immune to the virus.

The man, who cannot be named together with his wife for ethical reasons, told a court the woman deliberately hid her HIV status from him and later demanded unprotected sex.

Opening the State case, the man told the court that he believed the woman was negative when she showed him HIV test results that she obtained two years before they met.

“She said she did not enjoy protected sex and since her results from long ago showed she was negative I believed her. At one time she said she had run out of condoms and we then had unprotected sex,” said the man.

“I asked her several times and she said she was negative. We once went to see a traditional healer when she had sores on her cervix and she reiterated that she is negative.” In her defence outline, the accused said she told her former husband of her HIV status before they engaged in a sexual relationship.

“He consented to sex appreciating the nature of HIV and the possibility of becoming infected. He actually said despite two of his former girlfriends having been positive he never contracted the virus,” she said. “At one point he told me to stop taking my ARVs as they would weaken his immune system and I consented. For the first three months of the relationship we were using condoms but after he paid lobola, he demanded a child saying he won’t be affected by the disease.”

The woman narrated how she suffered side effects after defaulting on her medication and started developing sores which were unattractive to her husband. “He started cheating on me and that is when I decided to revert to my medication. He started spreading rumours about me and disclosing my status. I confronted him and he assaulted me,” she said.

The accused added that the report was a bid to fix her and deprive her of her personal property. Magistrate Mberewere remanded the woman out of custody to August 25.

Prosecutors allege that during the tenure of their relationship which lasted for a year, the woman deliberately slept with her husband knowing there was a possibility she would infect him.

“The man went for tests twice in 2016 and tested negative. Investigations, however, revealed that the woman tested positive in 2011,” they said.

“The accused had no right to have unprotected sexual intercourse with complainant well knowing that she was infected,” said the prosecutor.