Communications News: National Aids Trust seeks clarification on 'intent to infect'

The National Aids Trust is seeking an urgent meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service to ask that it provide the police with clear guidance on whether to prosecute for HIV transmission.

The trust says it is not in the public interest to allow prosecutions for reckless transmission of HIV during consensual sex, where a clear intent to infect is unproven.

The Home Office's 1998 guidance on the issue states that only intentional transmission of a serious disease should be a criminal offence. But the trust believes the police are not following that guidance since, it contends, none of the three convictions for transmission of HIV in England proved that the defendant had intent to infect.

Even Mohammad Dica, who was convicted and jailed for causing grievous bodily harm by transmitting HIV in November last year, is now being retried after the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge should have allowed the jury to consider whether his victims had consented to sex, knowing that Dica was HIV-positive.

The charity believes the courts are stigmatising vulnerable and marginalised people because all three trials have prosecuted African migrants.

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