Man jailed for sex without disclosing HIV status

SINGAPORE - A man infected with HIV was today sentenced to 18 months jail for engaging in sex with his male partner without first informing him of the infection.

The 27-year-old and his partner, now 37, had engaged in oral and anal sex in January 2009. All parties in the case cannot be named as there is a gag order in place.

The accused was diagnosed with HIV in March 2008 and did not inform his partner despite being aware of the consequences of his actions.

A local broadcaster reported that the offender had found it difficult to tell his partner because he was afraid his social circle would abandon him.

He reportedly told the court that he did not intend to harm his partner but wanted to protect himself.

He also said he was on medication when he met his victim and that his condition was allegedly under control. He added that they had protected sex.

His partner has since been diagnosed with HIV but the prosecution could not confirm that the accused had infected him, The Straits Times reported.

The English language daily also reported that the accused pleaded for leniency. He told the court that he was supporting his mother who is ill and also needs to make money for his future medical expenses.

Calling the nature of the offence grave, District Judge Siva Shanmugam said the accused had endangered the safety of others for his own selfish reasons.

The maximum punishment is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.