I am incensed and outraged that journalist Charles Lavery (firstname.lastname@example.org) has written, and the (Scottish) Sunday Mail has published, the article below.
It features an interview from a complainant in an ongoing criminal HIV transmission investigation which names the man he believes infected him with HIV. As far as I can tell, the man is only under investigation, and this article appears to be libelous (should it not say “allegedly infected”?) and obviously prejudicial.
It is also not clear how the quotes attributed to the accused were obtained (were the recordings legal?), and the language used in the article (“sex predator”, “deadly fullblown AIDS”) is inaccurate and, obviously, stigmatising.
I understand how distressed and angry ‘Alan’ must be to discover he is now HIV-positive, but going to the gutter press as well as the police is so incredibly counterproductive: doesn’t he realise that he is only adding to the stigma of his own HIV infection?
I urge any readers who feel similarly incensed to email Mr Lavery and/or comment on the paper’s website.
My lover didn’t tell me he had HIV
Mar 30 2008
By Charles Lavery
Exclusive: Dad Says Sex Predator Gave Him Disease
A SEXUAL predator who infected a father-of-three with HIV is being investigated by police.
[Full name of man], 40, admits he did not tell his unsuspecting victim he had been diagnosed as HIV positive six years ago.
[Name of man] – who could face five years in jail for his deadly deceit – still trawls gay websites for “one-on-one sex” while police examine his sexual history.
They fear he could have slept with – and potentially infected – dozens of partners.
Police now face the difficult task of trying to track down his conquests, who will be offered HIV tests and counselling.
His victim Alan, whose identity we are protecting, tested negative for HIV two weeks before he met martial arts expert [Name of man].
Alan, 32, said [Name of man] assured him he was also clear of the disease – which can go on to develop into deadly fullblown AIDS.
But after being tipped off that [Name of man], of [town in Scotland], had the virus, Alan arranged another test and was told he too was HIV positive.
He said: “[Name of man] never had the decency to tell me he was a carrier. He has stolen 20 years of my life.”
In a taped confession [Name of man] admits:
“I gave him HIV. I have had a dozen sexual partners since I was diagnosed six years ago and I have told each and every one of them. Why I didn’t tell Alan I don’t know.
“I always meant to and then we had sex. By that time it was too late.”
The pair met on the Chatterbox UK website and struck up a friendship before arranging a date.
Alan says he asked about safe sex but [Name of man] told him he had been given the allclear so there was no need.
[Name of man] is still listed on various online gay exchange networks looking for sex. Alan told the Sunday Mail:
“[Name of man] told me he was clean because I asked him outright.
“He is a fit-looking guy who goes to the gym and has a good body for his age but that’s all to mask his illness.
“I know I was clear before I met him as I take regular health checks because of my lifestyle.”
Alan’s life fell apart when he got an email from one of [Name of man]’s friends asking: “How’s your health?”
He said: “I replied, ‘What do you mean?’ His reply made my heart stop.
“It said, ‘How are your bloods?’
“I called [Name of man] and he said he couldn’t bring himself to tell me because he couldn’t bear to lose me.
“His family and friends all knew too but they told me they assumed I must be HIV positive too.
“I have been at their home eating Sunday dinner and listened to them telling [Name of man] what a nice couple we make.”
Within 24 hours of the bombshell email Alan had been diagnosed as HIV positive. A counsellor broke the news over the phone.
He said: “I spent three weeks in my bed after that phone call. He never had the decency to tellme he was a carrier.”
Last Sunday Alan walked into a police station in Glasgow and made a formal complaint.
But [Name of man]’s profile was still on networking site Gaydar, advertising for one-night stands and claiming he would “discuss” the use of condoms with any sex date.
He describes himself online as “single, fit, honest and looking”.
Alan said: “How many more are there like me? He was always online and always off meeting new people. I can only assume they too are none the wiser.
“I want to stop this man doing this to people. It’s too late for me but not for the people he is planning to meet.
“I want the world to know this guy is HIV positive and sleeping around. I hope he goes to jail for a long time. He has robbedme ofmy life – what price do you put on that?”
We tracked [Name of man] down last week to a flat he rents in Paisley.
He said: “I probably gave him it but until it’s proved I don’t want to say anything. He might have had other partners.”
Strathclyde Police said: “A 32-year-old man has made a complaint. Inquiries are continuing.”
‘I hope he goes to jail for a long time ..he has robbed me of my life’ VICTIM ALAN
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks the body’s ability to defend against disease. An all-timehigh 73,000 people in the UK are infected. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the latter stages of HIV when the sufferer has a life-threatening illness, such as pneumonia. For advice, call the Terrence Higgins Trust on 0845 1221 200 or the National AIDS Helpline on 0800 567123.