From The Canadian Press
The unprecedented murder trial of a man accused of having unprotected sex with numerous women despite knowing he carried the virus that can lead to AIDS began Monday with the prosecution saying he lied to his partners about his health status.
Johnson Aziga, a 52-year-old immigrant from Uganda, faces two counts of first-degree murder because two of his girlfriends died of what the Crown says were HIV-related cancers, along with 11 counts of aggravated sexual assault … Seven of his 11 partners tested positive for HIV, including the two who died.
Aziga, dressed in a dark grey jacket, sat between his two lawyers during Monday’s proceedings, listening intently and taking notes.
While there have been several criminal prosecutions in Canada and the U.S. related to the wilful spread of HIV, this appears to be the first time someone has been charged with lethally infecting partners.
One woman, a colleague of Aziga’s who had a relationship with him in the summer of 2001, videotaped a statement just before her death in December 2003 that is to be played as evidence.
In it, she says was ignorant of Aziga’s HIV status, Power told Ontario Superior Court.
The second deceased recorded an audio statement just prior to her death, indicating Aziga feigned ignorance about his infection when she contacted him in 2003 to tell him she had tested positive for HIV, court heard.
Uganda has dabbled with the introduction of criminal prosecution for people who knowingly spread AIDS, but no one has ever been charged with this ‘crime’. AIDS activists say criminalizing the spread of AIDS will increase stigmatization of HIV carriers.
What do you think? Should people with HIV face jail time for knowingly spreading the virus?