Kanawi: Denying condom use could be criminal act

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DENYING a person the right to use a condom and other protective methods especially if the partner is HIV positive is a criminal offence under the HIV/AIDS Management and Protection (HAMP) Act, National AIDS Council director Wep Kanawi said.
“The National AIDS Council, under section 11 of the HAMP Act, has the authority to take to court HIV positive individuals who are denying others the use of condom when engaging in sexual activities,” he said.
He said people living with the virus and going around with the intention of infecting others by denying them the use of condoms were committing a silent crime.
“These people can be charged under criminal law with manslaughter.
“That is what this is all about because when you deny that person a right to use protection you are slowly ending their lives.
“It is equivalent to someone putting a knife or an axe to your neck,” Kanawi said.
He said the laws were there to deal with such crimes and “everyone who is a victim of such atrocious act must come out boldly to see justice is done and the perpetrators are held behind bars”.
“Putting to use the HAMP Act could actually reduce the number of perpetrators of this silent crime, thus the spread of the virus,” Kanawi added.
He said it was a lot easier for men to transfer the HIV virus during sex.
“It is a lot harder for women to transfer virus through body fluids unless her partner has cuts or sores on his private parts during sexual contact,” Kanawi said.
He said everyone needed to be well informed on the HIV virus and how it was spread so they would know how to look after themselves.