A Manchester man, convicted of rape, has been told that he may have contracted HIV from his victim.
The man in question from Manchester plead guilty to rape on the 20th July 2013, and was jailed for five years and four months. He admitted that he had done so whilst under the influence of considerable quantities of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol.
A sad story for sure, but it seems to have only made big headlines as it has emerged that the female victim of the crime is HIV-Positive and that the assailant is awaiting his HIV test results.
Several key factors with regards to how HIV is transmitted/prevented have not been included in the coverage, and an excellent opportunity to inform and educate the general public has been missed.
- No mention is made of the victim’s infectious state, whether she is undetectable or not. If she is ‘undetectable’ then the chances of transmission are incredibly unlikely.
- Female to male transmission is more difficult than male to female transmission – although clearly risks still exist.
- No mention is made of the possibility that the assailant could have passed another infection on to his victim.
- No mention is made of the fact that if he does test HIV-Positive that it is not necessarily from this one woman. We’d be remiss to not consider the high-probability of him having other sexual encounters before this one.
Finally, privacy. If the male in question does indeed turn out to be HIV-Positive it should be a private matter. Yes, he has been convicted of rape and yes it’s a truly awful act – but having your HIV status unceremoniously declared across the press isn’t something anyone should have to deal with.