Student didn't tell partners he had HIV

SINGAPORE - Less than two months after a young man found out that he had HIV, he went on to have sex with two men at his home.

The 21-year-old student failed to tell one man - who is in his 20s - of the risk of getting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from him before they had sex on April 8.

Neither did he get the victim's voluntary agreement to accept that risk.

The student pleaded guilty last month to the charge and was yesterday sentenced to 15 months' jail. He and the victim cannot be named because of a gag order.

Before passing sentence, District Judge Christopher Goh asked the bespectacled defendant if he had sorted out his personal affairs. The student said "yes".

Said the judge: "You understand that such offences are treated very seriously because of the harm which you can cause in the community."

Two other similar charges were taken into consideration.

The defendant, who was not represented, sought a deferment of his sentence until the first week of December to "finish this semester". The judge asked for documentation but he said he did not bring any.

Ministry of Health prosecutor Andre Moses Tan said he also needed time to consult senior management about the defendant's request. The judge deferred sentence until next Wednesday.

Mr Tan had told the court that the defendant was told of his HIV status on Feb 15 this year.

HIV destroys immune systems and can cause Aids or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Investigations showed that the victim and the defendant got to know each other through a gay website. They chatted about their sexual activities with others.

On April 8, the defendant, victim and another man had sex together.

On April 15 and April 20, the defendant and victim had sex again.

On April 23, the defendant told the victim via a text message that he had tested positive for HIV. The victim then lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Health that the student had not disclosed his HIV positive status.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a $50,000 fine and 10 years' jail.

elena@sph.com.sg


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