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Monday 2 March 2009

Canada: Googling results in HIV exposure arrest

A former male sex worker who helped other young men get off the Toronto streets, and whose life and work was highlighted in a CBC Radio documentary, has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault (for HIV exposure) after a former male sexual partner searched for his name on the internet and discovered he was HIV-positive.

According to reports in the Toronto Sun and Hamilton Spectator, it is alleged that the man had not disclosed his HIV status prior to unprotected sex, although the complainant is not HIV-positive.

He was arrested last week in Nova Scotia, and returned to Hamilton, Ontario – where Johnson Aziga is currently on trial – where he was charged with aggravated sexual assault and released on bail last Thursday.

Hamilton police are now actively fishing for more complainants; they are asking anyone who had sex with the man since 2003 (when he was diagnosed) to contact them. Both papers have provided plenty of information to help the police with this extremely unethical request, which is disguised as a public health message.

Hamilton Police sexual assault branch Det. Duncan McCulloch is urging anyone who had relations with [xxxx], who lived in Toronto until 2008, to get checked to determine if they had been exposed.
McCulloch stressed anyone who had intimate contact with the suspect to undergo medical tests.
"Go to a doctor. Let me make that absolutely clear," he said. "Get yourself checked first and if they want to make a complaint, I'll certainly be the fellow to do whatever it needs to do the investigation.
"If it's outside my jurisdiction, I'll get them to who they need to be," he said.
McCulloch can be reached at xxx-xxxx-xxx.
"I believe it to be very serious," McCulloch said. "Anyone who may have had intimate contact with [....] could have been exposed to HIV and may not know it."


Bill Whatcott said...

Campaigning against laws to protect people from deliberate or reckless HIV infection through sexual contact where HIV status is willfully concealed is suicidal in my view. Have you ever met someone who has been maliciously infected? I have. Its not pretty watching them get sick and need to take dozens of pills to stay alive. All because an AIDS infected sicko wanted to use them and infect for their own gratification. Surely there is a better cause for you to undertake than this one????

Edwin J Bernard said...

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and you are defnitely in sync with the majority, but that doesn't make you right.

I can't think of a better cause than fighting the many injustices of criminalisation.

By the way, there is no evidence at all that any of these laws protect people from HIV. On the contrary, if you believe a law mandating disclosure will protect you from HIV, you are being lulled into a false sense of security. Most sexual HIV transmission comes from people who are, as yet, undiagnosed, and who couldn't possibly tell you they were HIV-positive.


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