|Deliberate transmission of HIV hard to prove|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 16:20|
Regional magistrate, Mr Clever Tsikwa, was speaking while acquitting a 37-year-old man who was accused of deliberately infecting his 20-year-old wife with HIV.
Mr Tsikwa said the problem with such an offence was that the medical history of an accused person constituted the most important evidence for the State.
He said it was apparent that no evidence was led that prior to December 31 last year when the man is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with his wife for the first time that he was HIV positive and that he was aware of such a status. Mr Tsikwa said no evidence was led that when he had sexual intercourse with the complainant his intention was to infect her with HIV and that he indeed infected her.
He said simply producing HIV results without proof of the accused’s HIV status would not prove the offence.
“In fact, as Professor (Geoffrey) Feltoe stated in the commentary on the criminal code, it is illegal and breach of medical confidentiality for testing institutions to reveal a patient’s HIV status without the patient’s express consent.”
The State alleged that on December 31 last year the complainant stayed with the accused person as his wife. During the time, the State says, they were intimate on several occasions.
Sometime in March this year, the complainant fell sick and requested to be tested for HIV and she tested negative and she was told to return three months later.