An HIV-positive Toronto man has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault after it is alleged that he did not disclose his HIV status before having unprotected sex with his female partner.
It comes as no surprise to see that the first new arrest/prosecution of 2009 comes from Canada, which currently has the highest ratio of prosecutions per capita of HIV-positive people in the world. (Only the United States has prosecuted more people globally, but there are only 58,000 people with HIV in Canada compared with more than a million in the US.)
Neither is it a surprise that the case involves another heterosexual man – whom I also assume, from his name and photo (which I have not published), is also likely to be a migrant from a country of high HIV prevalence – like many of the 18 other reported prosecutions for HIV exposure or transmission in Canada in 2008.
One must ask oneself whether heterosexual migrants are disproportionately being prosecuted because they are more likely than other HIV-positive people to have sex without disclosing their HIV status first (which is highly unlikely), or whether there is something very wrong with the system.
Many of the complainants have been (presumably) white heterosexual women who did not believe they were at risk of HIV. I believe that much of the fault lies with Health Canada. There is still a perception that only gay men, aboriginals or injecting drug users are at risk of HIV, when the numbers of heterosexually-acquired HIV have been increasing.
(Source: Public Health Agency of Canada HIV/AIDS Epi Updates, November 2007)
Better public health education about the risks of unprotected sex would result in more people of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities and origins being aware that the only way to protect yourself from HIV is to protect yourself, and not rely on your sexual partner, no matter what the flawed Canadian law says.
(For more on what has been termed 'African Immigrant Damnation Syndrome', see my article on the GNP+ Global Criminal Scan site.)
Full story (without photo) below from The Toronto Star.
HIV-positive Toronto man charged with sex assault
Jan 07, 2009
by Precious Yutangco
A Toronto man has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault after police allege that he deliberately withheld the fact that he was HIV positive in order to have unprotected sex with a partner.
Police also released a photograph of the suspect because they fear there are other victims.
"There is evidence to believe that he may have infected several other women," Det. Kate Beveridge said Wednesday night.
She said detectives are in the process of contacting at least two other women whom the suspect allegedly withheld his medical status from in order to have unprotected sex.
Beveridge would not reveal details about how the suspect knew the victim or where he may have met his other sexual partners, in order to protect their identities.
In regards to the charge, the suspect and victim knew each other.
"It was not a one-night stand," she said.
Lindani Msimanga, 29, of Toronto, is expected to make a court appearance Thursday morning.
Last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal sent Roger McGregor to jail, setting aside a previous 12-month conditional sentence and substituting 12 months in jail, after he did not tell his girlfriend that he had been HIV positive for more than a year.
The victim accidentally found out about his HIV status after she stumbled upon a medical information sheet on his bedroom dresser. She took it to a pharmacist to find out what the medication was for.
She was told it was for HIV.
Police charged McGregor with aggravated sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Johnson Aziga, 52, who has spent five years in pre-trial custody, is currently on trial after two women he allegedly had unprotected sex with died.
He is facing two first-degree murder charges for allegedly spreading the virus that caused AIDS. He is also facing 11 counts of sexual assault.Aziga's case is being touted as a landmark as similar cases have previously led to lesser aggravated assault charges rather than murder.