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Calgary man faces HIV charges

Didn't tell unprotected sex partners that he is poz, allege police

Credit: Ken Bosem illustration

A Calgary man has been charged with 11 counts of aggravated sexual assault for allegedly having unprotected sex with a woman without telling her he is HIV-positive.

According to the RCMP a 32-year-old man had been dating a woman for a couple of weeks. When she learned that he’s HIV-positive she reported him to police. The names of complainants in sexual assault cases are automatically protected from publication. Xtra has chosen not to reveal the name of the man charged in this case.

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl Kathe Deheer did not comment directly on the case, but emphasized the importance of HIV disclosure. “People who have (HIV) already know that they have to disclose,” said Deheer. “The greater message is for people who might meet somebody that they should have a dialogue with the other person and discuss their history and some of the intimate details about them and straighten this out before.” The accused man appeared in court in Red Deer on Jul 31.

A growing chorus of activists and researchers say that HIV criminalization is fraught with injustice. They argue variously that criminalization hampers HIV-prevention efforts, fans the flames of HIV stigma, is rooted in misinformation and hysterical fear, puts the responsibility to protect sexual health entirely and unfairly on the shoulders of people living with HIV, turns gay men against each other and serves only to further victimize poz people.