There are very little legal consequences for those who knowingly infect others with HIV, unless victims are able to prove intent.
This is according to the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), which has offered legal advice to a woman who believes that a con artist deliberately wanted to infect her with HIV.
Currently, there's no single piece of legislation that criminalises the intentional infection of HIV.— Jody Fredericks, Resident legal advisor at the Womens Legal Centre
WLC lawyer Jody Fredericks says that, in order for criminal charges to stick, there needs to be proof that a person knew about their HIV status before the transmission of the virus.
You have to show that the person knew their status at the time of sexual intercourse and that you were not aware of their status and did not consent to have unprotected sex.— Jody Fredericks, Resident legal advisor at the Womens Legal Centre
702 listener Nomthandazo Ndlovu has been seeking legal assistance.
She believes she was intentionally exposed to HIV by a man she had sex with and suspects that she may not be his first victim.
Ndlovu explains that she met a business man in January and they became romantically involved.
She says that he claims the condom slipped off during sexual intercourse, and he disappeared after taking her money and other personal belongings.
The man is alleged to be HIV positive, according to the mother of his child who says he also infected her.
He knew his status and believe that he lied and said the condom slipped off. I believe that he took it off to intentionally infect me with HIV/Aids.— Jody Fredericks, Resident legal advisor at the Womens Legal Centre
Ndlovu says that she is currently on post-exposure prophylaxis and will visit the doctor for a follow up HIV test.
Take a listen to the story and WLC's Jody Fredericks give her legal opinion: