National AIDS Trust reacts to Newtown HIV threat court case
THE National AIDS Trust has moved to quell fears that anyone could contract HIV via bloodied clothing after a woman was fined for threatening to infect a police officer in Newtown last week.
This week C. pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker when she appeared at Welshpool Magistrates Court.
The 35-year-old was brought in to custody at Newtown Police Station on August 26 covered in blood – which she claimed belonged to someone else – and became abusive, eventually stripping and throwing the bloodied clothes at custody sergeant Grace Coburn, telling her the clothes had hepatitis and HIV on them.
Sgt Coburn was told by C. that she probably also “had Covid as well”.
But the trust – the UK charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV – has responded to the “misinformation” presented by the case, moving to reassure people that HIV cannot be transmitted in this way.
Danny Beales, head of policy and campaigns at the National AIDS Trust, said: “It’s disappointing to read that HIV is still being used as a threat in 2020.
“The stigma and misinformation that surrounds HIV mean that cases like this are far too common. We would reassure readers that there is no risk from HIV on bloodied clothing as the virus is very fragile and does not last long outside the body.
“Also, the majority of people living with HIV in the UK are on effective treatment which means they cannot pass on the virus in any way.”
C. was given a £200 fine and will pay compensation of £50 to the officer. She will also pay £85 costs.