UK: Inaccurate information around the risk of HIV or HCV transmission posed to police officers by spitting is stigmatising and hugely damaging

More than 30 years on from the start of the AIDS crisis, tabloids are still spreading a basic falsehood about HIV.

The claim has been repeatedly reported in newspapers amid a row over the use of police ‘spit hoods’ to prevent detainees from spitting at officers.

Amid a clash on the proposed use of spit hoods by the Metropolitan Police, outlets have repeated claims that their use will reduce the chances of officers being infected with HIV or hepatitis C – despite three decades of evidence that it is impossible to get HIV from saliva.

In a joint statement today, the Hepatitis C Trust and National AIDS Trust both expressed concern about the inaccurate reporting, pointing out  that both HIV and hepatitis C “are blood borne viruses, and therefore cannot be transmitted via spitting.” HIV is transmitted from blood-to-blood contact.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT said: “HIV is irrelevant to the debate about spit hoods because spitting simply is not an HIV transmission route.

“Using fear of HIV to justify spit hoods is extremely stigmatising and of great concern to NAT. This stigma and misinformation is especially damaging when a false implication of HIV risk from spitting comes from a source that people trust.”

Dr Stuart Flanagan, Clinical Research Fellow, Viral Hepatitis and HIV Medicine, Queen Mary University London, said: “Hepatitis C and HIV are not transmitted by spitting on someone else.

“Although these viruses may be theoretically present and detectable in saliva, the infection and transmission risk is negligible.

“In the UK the majority of cases of hepatitis C are transmitted by blood to blood contact, and the vast majority of HIV cases are sexually transmitted.”

The statement added that the inaccurate claims had been “hugely damaging as they reinforce existing stigma and misconceptions that surround both viruses.

“Such falsehoods also cause unnecessary alarm to police staff. Given the significant challenges faced by police officers in the line of duty, causing them to fear they have been put at risk when they have not places an undue burden upon them, and must not go unchallenged.

“While the debate around the use of spit hoods is an important one for the police, policy-makers and the public, hepatitis C and HIV are of no relevance to it and should not be used as justification for their use.”

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who had come under fire after saying there is “no evidence that spit hoods are necessary or useful”, told PinkNews in a statement: “This rational intervention made by the medical community is deeply appreciated.  It is important that medical professionals have clarified this unfounded belief.

“The arguments for spit hoods should be evidence based. The public expect and deserve a national debate to be fact-based, not fear-based.

“Police staff, who are often under incredible stress in the line of duty, should not be led to believe that they are at high risk of HIV or HEP C from spitting.

“Disappointingly this association has been propagated widely across the media, particularly in the past few weeks. Amongst social media users and in major tabloid newspapers, including the Express, Mail, the Standard and the Sun.

“I hope they will widely report this important interjection by Hepatitis Trust and the NAT. “

Canada: Ontario Court of Appeal rules that HIV disclosure by police in news releases does not violate a person's constitutional rights

Court ruling sets ‘low bar’ for police to disclose HIV status

Ontario Court of Appeal finds police didn’t violate suspect’s Charter rights by disclosing health status in news release

If a person charged with a crime is found to be HIV-positive, that could be enough for police to disclose that very personal and sensitive information to the public.

That’s one takeaway from an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that advocates say is cause for concern for those living with HIV or AIDS, which continue to attract stigma and misunderstanding despite evolving science.

The province’s top court overturned a lower court decision last week, ruling that that Durham Regional Police did not breach former youth pastor Kris Gowdy’s constitutional rights following his 2012 arrest for Internet child luring when they disclosed in a news release that he was HIV-positive.

Gowdy was arrested after arriving at the home of someone who had been posing as a 15-year-old boy online, to perform oral sex, only to discover the individual was a police officer. Police searched his car and discovered documentation and medication proving he was HIV-positive. The arrest and Gowdy’s HIV status were widely reported on at the time, making international headlines.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Justice David Watt said the police force’s actions in disclosing Gowdy’s HIV status were “clearly in retrospect not advisable.”

But the judges held that the release of that information did not violate Gowdy’s right to security of the person because there had been no finding at trial that the disclosure had a psychological effect on Gowdy beyond the impact already caused by the charge he was facing.

They also concluded that provincial privacy legislation contains an exemption for municipal institutions to release personal information that they have lawfully gathered if it is for a “consistent purpose.”

In this case, Watt said that the “consistent purpose” was to further the investigation “by inviting responses from other sexual partners of Gowdy” who may be at risk of transmission.

“The police had reasonable suspicion; reasonable grounds to believe further offences had been committed was not required for the purpose of the media release,” Watt said.

The court dismissed Gowdy’s appeal of the conviction, but allowed the Crown’s appeal. The court substituted Gowdy’s two-year conditional sentence, which he served at home, with a one-year jail term, although it said he should not be re-arrested because he had already served his sentence.

As noted by the Court of Appeal, the lead investigator in the case did not seek legal advice or the permission of the police chief or his designate before issuing the news release, did not seek medical advice to find out the likelihood of transmission of the virus through a sexual activity such as fellatio, and did not seek to confirm Gowdy’s assertion that his medication had rendered his viral load so low that it made transmission unlikely.

Gowdy also never admitted in his interview with police that he had had sexual contact with individuals who were unaware of his HIV status, the court said.

“The lead investigator testified that, to his knowledge, he had never before investigated someone with HIV in his 23 years of policing,” Watt wrote. “The investigating officer acknowledged he did not consider the Charter rights of Kris Gowdy before requesting the media release.”

Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, one of the interveners in the appeal, said in an interview with the Star that police should have turned their minds to what the actual risks of transmission may have been in this case.

“I can’t think what that ‘reasonable suspicion’ is actually founded on. I don’t think the suspicion is a reasonable one, all the information the officer had was that this accused was HIV-positive,” Elliott said.

“This is a case in which merely finding out someone has HIV was seen by police as sufficient for putting out a press release, basically engaging in a fishing expedition.”

He also described the court’s interpretation of the “consistent purpose” exemption as “very, very liberal,” saying it sets an “extraordinarily low bar” that police have to clear before releasing a person’s HIV status.

The case highlights what advocates say is a lack of proper training for officers in dealing with HIV-positive individuals and the absence of clear statutes governing the disclosure of such information by police.

Durham police spokesman Dave Selby declined to comment on the court’s decision.

“In general, I can say that we regularly review our policies to ensure they are consistent with all applicable laws and judicial decisions. We will review this decision carefully, as well,” he said in an email. “We will continue to respect the fundamental privacy rights of all citizens while balancing our community safety responsibilities.”

Gowdy’s appeal lawyer, Russell Silverstein, said his client is considering whether to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“When it comes to one’s HIV status, different considerations apply, it’s not the same as telling the world that the accused is suffering from cancer or some other disease,” he told the Star.

“You can’t say that the release of such information is per se a Charter breach, it’s going to depend on the circumstances, and the question is: what should the appropriate test be for the disclosure of that particular information?”

A former pastor with the Free Methodist Church of Canada, Gowdy posted an ad on Craigslist in 2012 looking for men interested in receiving oral sex, specifying he was looking for “under 35, jocks, college guys, skaters, young married guy.”

A detective with the OPP’s Child Sexual Exploitation Section homed in on the use of the words “young,” “skater,” and “under 35” in Gowdy’s ad, and began an online conversation with him, posing as a 15-year-old boy.

Shortly after agreeing to meet the “boy” for oral sex, Gowdy was arrested. He maintained in court that he never actually believed the person he was conversing with was 15 years old.

Gowdy, a former pastor with the Free Methodist Church of Canada, had kept his sexual orientation secret from his family and church, his 2014 trial heard. He had no prior criminal record and there were no complaints about inappropriate behaviour from the ministries where he had worked as a pastor.

“I regret incredibly my actions, they were foolish and inappropriate,” Gowdy told the Star in an interview in 2014. “It feels to me like there should be some kind of reprimand to these officers at the minimum.”

At trial, Justice Michael Block found that the release of Gowdy’s HIV status violated his constitutional rights. He circumvented the mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail for the luring offence, and instead imposed a two-year conditional sentence, which Gowdy served at home. Gowdy’s name was to remain on the sexual offender registry for 20 years.

“Mr. Gowdy had a right to make his own choices concerning the disclosure of his HIV status,” Block said. “No doubt he would have chosen his own method and different timing if he ever determined to inform those near to him. Absent evidence of serious risk of transmission and rigorous compliance with statute, no one had the authority to make that decision for him.”

Australia: Despite absence of risks, mandatory HIV testing of people who spit at police officers will remain

Police Minister Liza Harvey says the government stands by it’s mandatory blood test laws for offenders who spit at police officers.

On Friday leading HIV experts criticized the 2014 law brought in by the Barnett Government saying it had no basis in scientific fact.

Currently an offender who spits at a police officer can be forced to have a blood test to see if they are carrying the HIV virus.

Delegates at the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference said they had “profound disappointment” in state government’s that brought in laws forcing blood tests for offenders who spit at police.

Scientists say its not possible for the HIV virus to be transmitted via saliva.

“Australia has a proud record of basing its HIV response on evidence-based policy,” Associate-Adjunct Professor Levinia Crooks, CEO of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) said yesterday.

“These laws are anti-scientific. The risk of transmission of HIV or other blood-borne viruses from saliva is practically zero. There is no justification for invading the privacy of people in custody by forcing them to undergo blood tests when there is no risk to the officer.”

“We understand the considerable risks faced by police and emergency services when they go about their jobs, but this is not the solution. There has never been a case of HIV transmission from spitting or biting in Australia,” she said.

Harvey, who is the Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, said the Barnett government has listened to the concerns of police officers and brought in the laws for their protection.

“The Liberal National Government had listened to the concerns of police officers.” the Minister said, arguing that in 2013 there had been a high level of instances where police could have potentially been exposed to infectious diseases.

“In 2013, 147 police were exposed to bodily fluids in a way that they could contract an infectious disease.

“This legislation allows for the taking of blood samples from the offender which helps in diagnosis, clinical management and treatment of the exposed police officer.

Minister Harvey said people were only forced to have a blood test when there was a possibility that an officer may have been exposed to infection.   

“The testing will only happen if there is a possibility of the transfer of an infectious disease – for example the transfer of bodily fluid through broken skin.” Minister Harvey told OUTinPerth. “We are committed to protecting our officers on the front line, who are committed to protecting us.”

Published in Out in Perth

Australia: Delegates at Australia’s national HIV/AIDS conference condemn antiscientific laws mandating HIV testing for people accused of spitting at police officers

Media Release

Adelaide: Friday, 18 November 2016

Delegates at Australia’s national HIV/AIDS conference have condemned the governments of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory over laws that force people accused of criminal offences to undergo mandatory HIV and blood-borne virus testing.

The conference passed a resolution this afternoon expressing its ‘profound disappointment’ in the laws, which make it mandatory for people to undergo blood tests if they are accused of spitting on or biting law enforcement personnel. The laws were passed in South Australia and Western Australia in 2014, and in the Northern Territory in 2016.

Australia has a proud record of basing its HIV response on evidence-based policy,” said Adjunct Associate Professor Levinia Crooks CEO of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). “These laws are antiscientific — the risk of transmission of HIV or other blood-borne viruses from saliva is practically zero. There is no justification for invading the privacy of people in custody by forcing them to undergo blood tests when there is no risk to the officer.”

“We understand the considerable risks faced by police and emergency services when they go about their jobs, but this is not the solution. There has never been a case of HIV transmission from spitting or biting in Australia.”

The full text of the resolution passed by the conference is:

As researchers, clinicians, and civil society representatives, we are united in our commitment to a HIV response grounded in evidence and protective of the human rights of people living with and affected by HIV. This conference expresses its profound disappointment in the governments of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory for enacting anti scientific and counterproductive laws mandating HIV testing for people accused of spitting on law enforcement personnel, in the face of overwhelming evidence that such laws are neither effective nor necessary. HIV is not transmitted in saliva and these laws only serve to further marginalise and criminalise people with HIV. We call on all governments to establish evidence-based protocols that protect the wellbeing of police and emergency workers and the rights of people living with HIV.

The Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference is the premier medical/scientific conference in the Australasian HIV and related diseases sector. The 2016 Conference was held in Adelaide from 16–18 November, in conjunction with the Australasian Sexual Health Conference.

For all media enquires, please contact:

Media Contact:  Petrana Lorenz — 0405 158 636  |  petrana@arkcommunications.com.au

Czech Republic: Police drop charges against all 30 gay men living with HIV following Prague Public Health Authority ‘witch hunt’

All criminal charges have been dropped against the 30 gay men living with HIV who were reported to the police by the Prague Public Health Authority earlier this year after they were diagnosed with an STI, Czech media report today.

The draconian behaviour of Prague Public Health led to widespread condemnation by human rights defenders.

A change.org petition initated by the European AIDS Treament Group (EATG) was signed by more than 1000 supporters, including the HIV Justice Network.

Today’s media report in Aktuálně.cz notes that three of the 30 men had been indicted for potential HIV transmission (under a law criminalising ‘the spread of infectious human diseases‘) but prosecutorial authorities withdrew the charges due to lack of evidence.

Police spokesman, Jan Danek, told the paper that following an investigation there was no case to prove against any of the 30 men and all charges had been dropped.

Australia: Up to 14 years jail sentences and compulsory testing for people spitting at police officers could be introduced in new legislation

Police in Australia are pushing for the introduction of a maximum 14 year jail sentence for people who spit at police officers.

The move comes after new figures reveal more than 1,000 officers are “exposed to bodily fluids” at work each year in the country.

Officers have routinely put there lives on hold for months to ensure they had not contracted any diseases.

South Australian Police Association president Mark Carroll said: ““When, in the course of duty, officers are spat on, bitten or otherwise assaulted in a way involving an exchange of bodily fluids, it’s essential that these officers have access to blood samples from the assailant that can be tested.”

The Adelaide Advertiser reported a case in May where a man spat at an officer and said: “I have HIV AIDS and now you’ve got it too”.

After sentencing the man to four and a half years in prison, Judge Rauf Soulio said: “Your comments about HIV caused him great distress. He felt unable to hold his infant daughter, who was born prematurely, for fear of passing on a communicable disease.”

“He had to deal with the fear of waiting for blood results, which were, fortunately, negative,” he added.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph police minister Troy Grant has prepared new proposals saying he hopes to make it a “new offence with tough penalties for spitting on officers and a mandatory testing regimen for offenders who spit.”

In Ireland, the offence appears to be at the lower end of the punishment scale. The Herald reported in June 2015 where a man, Liam Deegan, was sentenced to a month in prison for spitting in a Garda’s face as he was being led to the cells following a court appearance.

The same paper reported another incident whereby another man, Shamsiytar Shafie, received a four month sentence in May 2015 for a similar offence.

Published in NewsTalk on Oct 2, 2016

 

US: Jacob Anderson-Minshall from HIV Plus mag reacts to the latest biting case in Marlyand

When will law enforcement get the message? HIV is neither a death sentence nor transmittable through saliva. So why do they keep arresting HIV-positive people for spitting and or biting and, as in the latest case, charging them with attempted murder?

According to the Baltimore, Maryland-based Capital Gazette, 46-year-old Jeffery David Crook, has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly biting an Anne Arundall County police officer during a tussle.

Crook is being held on half a million dollar bond and has reportedly been charged with multiple counts related to an alleged burglary and the assault on the officer. Crook was reported to the cops after “banging” on the outside of the home of Crook’s ex-boyfriend. Refused entry into the home, Crook allegedy “forced his way” into the house through a sliding glass door and was punched in the face by another man who was in the house.

Officers reported that they located Crook “rambling and incoherent” in an upstairs bedroom and he refused to obey their commands. When they attempted to forcedly arrest him, he resisted so a scuffle ensued. Police say that Crook was then Tasered, which, they allege, had no effect on him, and Crook bit an officer’s arm.

Police stated that the bite broke the officer’s skin, but it was Crook who was immediately transported to a local hospital center for “minor injuries,” the Gazette reported, citing local court records. “While there, he indicated that he was HIV-positive and bit the officer knowing the risk of transmitting the infection.”

Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said he couldn’t recall another incident where an officer was exposed to a “highly infectious disease,” especially “where it was done intentionally.”

Crook was charged with attempted second-degree murder, home invasion, second-degree assault, third-degree burglary, and reckless endangerment, according to court records.

From a public and mental health perspective, there are so many things wrong with this story, it’s hard to know where to begin. Crook’s mumbling, incoherent demeaner should have been a sign he may have been suffering from mental health issues. After entering his former partner’s house (through an unlocked sliding glass door, mind you), he was assaulted and his lip was cut. But instead of calling mental health professionals, officers tried to cuff him. When he struggled, they tased him. Although they reported that Tasing “had no effect,” he was taken to a hospital. Since few suspects are taken to a medical center for “minor injuries” before being interogated, it seems likely they realized he could not give clear answers because of his condition.

More to the point, once at the hospital, Crook disclosed his HIV status. His indication that he bit the police officer “knowing the risk of transmitting the infection,” could have been him simply acknowledging he was aware of his HIV status before he bit the man, or even that he knew there was little or no risk of transmitting HIV through saliva.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clear “HIV isn’t spread through saliva.” 

According to the CDC, biting, spitting, and throwing body fluids all carry “negligible” risk of infection. It is particularly disheartening for activists fighting the criminalization of HIV when poz individuals are convicted of felony crimes for having spat at, bit, or thrown fluids at an officer when it is nearly impossible to transmit HIV that way.

In this specific case, no doubt the argument is that Crook was bleeding from the mouth when he bit the officer hard enough to break skin. But breaking skin and having a small amount of each person’s blood comingling is still highly unlikely to transmit HIV.

Even if a person with HIV gets hurt playing tackle football or boxing at the gym, it’s “highly unlikely that HIV transmission could occur in this manner,” according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. “The external contact with blood that might occur in a sports injury is very different from direct entry of blood into the bloodstream, which occurs from sharing needles or works.”

Even if the officer in question did defy all odds and turn up HIV-positive, there’s no way to be sure it was transmitted in this occassion. Moreover, there’s still a significant problem with the charge of attempted murder. Like many laws that criminalize behavior like sex work or add sentencing penalties only for those who are HIV-positive, charging someone with attempted murder instead of assault is based entirely on the outdated equation that HIV equals death. It’s based on an outdated view of the HIV-positive body not as a human being but as a “deadly weapon.”

These offensive tropes are decades out of date, have been out-and-out discredited by modern science, and rendered obsolete by the development of highly active antiretroviral medications that have transformed HIV from a terminal disease to a manageable chronic condition.

And yet, when confronted with even the tiniest of bodily fluid of HIV-positive individuals, police officers continue to overreact with fear (the officer in the Crook case “remained out of work” days after the incident) and arrest people for actions that cannot transmit HIV, simply because they discover their alleged perp also has HIV.

Around the country, district attorneys in these cases continue to charge HIV-positive individuals with crimes for things that are not criminal, continue bumping up simple charges from misdemeanors to felonies just because the individuals involved are poz, and continue to claim that exposure to HIV is a death sentence when it isn’t. Judges continue to accept these arguments, and continue handing down these overblown sentences, often without the abiility for parole.

Most of the law and order representatives who embrace HIV criminalization do so out of ignorance, but some are aware of the facts and proceed anyway because the law was written in such a way that facts, medical findings, and scientific proof simply have no bearing on the case.

Many of those who are serving extended prison terms have not even transmitted HIV to another person (think Michael Johnson in Missouri and Kerry Thomas in Idaho, both serving 30 year sentences). Yet they often face sentences higher for spitting or having sex without disclosure than if they had actually murdered the person they are accused of “infecting.”

How flawed is this system? And what kind of lesson does this teach people about those living with HIV? For one thing, it teaches that knowing one’s status is a legal liability. In Crook’s case — as in most other cases — the determining factor of guilt is often based on whether the individual knew they were HIV-positive at the time. Spit on a police office without knowing you’re poz, it’s a misdemeanor assault. Spit on an officer once you know have HIV? It’s attempted murder. Neither one can actually transmit HIV.

To us, it’s just insane.

Mexico: 150 police officers undergo training in HIV, AIDS and STIs in Oaxaca

English Version (Scroll down for Spanish text)

COESIDA Trained Municipal Police in HIV, AIDS and STIs

To contribute to the full training of Public Safety officers, from 4 to 8 July, staff of the State Council for the Prevention and Control of AIDS (COESIDA) trained around 150 members of the Municipal Police Force in Oaxaca de Juarez, in HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Ofelia Martinez Lavariega, head of the Training Department of COESIDA said that, for the third consecutive year, the workshops were conducted through the Police Academy, in coordination with the Commission for Public Safety, and Traffic and Municipal Civil Protection.

“The goal is to continue the work of awareness, prevention and detection of HIV we have carried on since 2013,” she said, while noting that only last year 120 officers were trained. This year the number of participants grew to 150, reflecting the interest in being trained in issues related to HIV and AIDS, such as masculinity and sensitive language, issues which closed the workshops this year . “This last issue is very important if we consider the characteristics of their work, and the fact that police officers have to deal with key groups – sex workers, trans* people – and that sometimes they do not know how to treat them, and without meaning to, come to violate their human rights, “said Martin Trápaga Sibaja, COESIDA trainer and psychologist.

In 2015, the Commissioner of Public Safety, Traffic and Municipal Civil Protection, José Luis Echeverria Morales, stressed the importance of carrying on with such activities which undoubtedly contribute to the integral training of security forces in the capital’s City Hall. “Today we witness greater interest from public safety officers in the workshops. Initially, the majority had no knowledge about the basic information about HIV, AIDS, about modes of transmission and even about the correct way to put a condom; but now, each time there are more who join the program and also to convey the messages to their peers, take them home and that’s very important, “he said.

In addition to the participation of psychologist Martin Trápaga Sibaja, the police officers were trained by Doctor Angeles Pérez Silva and Psychologist Angelica Castro Pineda, who invited them to exercise their sexuality responsibly and with a shared responsibility.

Capacita COESIDA a policías municipales en materia de VIH, Sida e ITS

A fin de contribuir a la formación integral de las y los elementos de Seguridad Pública, del 4 al 8 de julio, personal del Consejo Estatal para la Prevención y Control del sida (COESIDA) capacitó a alrededor de 150 elementos de la Policía Vial y Municipal de Oaxaca de Juárez, en materia de VIH, sida y otras infecciones de transmisión sexual.   Ofelia Martínez Lavariega, jefa del Departamento de Capacitación del COESIDA, indicó que por tercer año consecutivo los talleres se realizan de manera coordinada con la Comisión de Seguridad Pública, Vialidad y Protección Civil Municipal, a través de la Academia de Policía.

“El objetivo es continuar con el trabajo de sensibilización, prevención y detección del VIH que hemos hecho desde 2013”, señaló, al tiempo de destacar que tan solo el año pasado fueron capacitados 120 elementos.   Para este año –dijo- el número de participantes creció a 150, lo que refleja el interés por estar informados sobre temas relacionados con el VIH y sida, tales como la masculinidad y lenguaje sensible, con los que se clausuraron los talleres de este año 2016.

“Este último tema es muy importante si consideramos que por las características de su trabajo, las y los policías tienen que lidiar con grupos clave -trabajadoras y trabajadores sexuales o personas trans- a quienes en ocasiones no saben cómo tratar, y sin pretenderlo, llegan a violentar sus derechos humanos”, sostuvo Martín Trápaga Sibaja, psicólogo capacitador del COESIDA.

En el año 2015, el Comisionado de Seguridad Pública, Vialidad y Protección Civil Municipal, José Luis Echeverría Morales, resaltó la importancia de dar seguimiento a este tipo de actividades que sin duda, contribuyen a la formación integral de los elementos de seguridad del Ayuntamiento capitalino.

“Hoy vemos un mayor interés de los elementos de seguridad pública en los talleres. Al principio, la mayoría desconocía la información básica sobre el VIH, el sida, las formas de transmisión e incluso, la forma correcta de colocar un condón; pero ahora, cada vez son más los que se suman al programa y además de transmitir el mensaje entre sus compañeros, lo llevan a sus hogares y eso es muy importante”, aseguró.   Además de la participación del psicólogo Martín Trápaga Sibaja, las y los policías fueron capacitados por la médica Ángeles Pérez Silva y la psicóloga Angélica Castro Pineda, quienes los invitaron a ejercer su sexualidad de manera responsable y compartida.

Liga tomada del portal OaxacaCapital.com http://oaxacacapital.com/dependencias/capacita-coesida-a-policias-municipales-en-materia-de-vih-sida-e-its/

Australia: Southern Australia new legislation to soon enforce mandatory blood testing of offenders for spitting at, or biting police officers

MORE than 100 police officers are being spat at each year, exposing them to infectious diseases and raising the concerns of their union.

Police figures show 111 officers were spat at in 2013 and that total has remained steady each year since, although they refused to release new figures.

South Australian Police Association president Mark Carroll said he hoped new legislation, which is expected to soon become law, enforcing mandatory blood testing of offenders who assault police would protect his members.

“When, in the course of duty, officers are spat on, bitten or otherwise assaulted in a way involving an exchange of bodily fluids, it’s essential that these officers have access to blood samples from the assailant that can be tested,” he said.

The comments come after the sentencing of Brandon William Peter Humes who spat on an officer during an arrest him and told him ‘I don’t give a f — k … I have HIV AIDS and now you’ve got it too’.

In sentencing Humes, 27, this month District Court Judge Rauf Soulio said the officer had to restrain Humes which left him unable to immediately “decontaminate himself”.

“Your comments about HIV caused him great distress,” Judge Soulio said.

 “He felt unable to hold his infant daughter, who was born prematurely, for fear of passing on a communicable disease.

“He had to deal with the fear of waiting for blood results, which were, fortunately, negative.”

Humes was sentenced to four years and six months jail with a non-parole period of two years for armed robbery and the spitting offence in June last year.

Also, Senior Sergeant Alison Coad contracted oral herpes after being spat on by a criminal.

SAPOL would not comment on the medical history of officers but said “this type of incident (spitting) is always of concern.”

“This type of behaviour is totally inappropriate and can result in offenders facing very serious charges,” a spokeswoman said.

The WA Police Union has recently requested officers be equipped with spit hoods because of a spike in incidents there.

Orginally published in The Advertiser