Canadian HIV man’s 20 sexual partners untraced

October 23rd, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 23 (IANS) Medical authorities in Canada have failed to trace 20 women who had unprotected sex with an HIV-infected man facing murder trial for causing death of two women by infection.Ugandan-born Johnson Aziga, 52, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1996, was warned to inform his sexual partners about his HIV condition.

But he went on to have unprotected sex with numerous women, including the 13 who have been identified.

Seven of these women have tested positive for HIV. Two of them have since died. Four women, who had sex with him, have not tested positive.

The man appeared in court at Hamilton near here Tuesday to face two counts of murder charges and 11 counts of sexual assault.

Testifying before the court, Hamilton’s chief medical officer Elizabeth Richardson said health authorities have failed to trace “as many as 20 women” who had unprotected sex with Aziga.

“Some of those names were merely first names and we were unable to make contact with them,” she said.

Richardson said her agency was notified about Aziga’s case after he tested HIV positive in 1996.

She said he was educated about his disease and instructed to practice safer sex by disclosing his HIV status to sexual partners.

Richardson said Aziga again came to their attention in 2002 when a newly HIV-diagnosed woman named him as her sex partner.

She said her department hauled up Aziga. Not satisfied with his response, the department forced him to reveal the names, addresses and phones of all his sexual partners under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) which made safer sex mandatory for him.

In 2003, Richardson said, her department received yet another report about a woman who named Aziga as her sexual partner after testing positive with HIV during prenatal screening tests.

She said health authorities this time sought intervention of the court which told Aziga that he faced jail and $5,000 in fine a day for each day he was in violation of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Aziga’s former wife also told the court that the couple were told by nurses to use condoms after he tested positive in 1996. She said they practised safer sex till they divorced in 1999.

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