Charges dropped against 30 HIV positive gay men


charges-dropped-against-30-hiv-positive-gay-menActivists have welcomed news that criminal charges have been dropped against 30 gay men living with HIV for having sex without a condom in the Czech Republic.

Last week, local media reported that state prosecutors had withdrawn the charges due to lack of evidence.

It was first revealed in February that Prague’s Public Health Authority had initiated criminal investigations against the men after they were diagnosed with other sexually transmitted infections.

This was seen as evidence by officials that the men had engaged in sex without a condom whilst knowing that they were HIV positive.

They faced up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of knowingly spreading an infectious disease, which is illegal in the country.

The “draconian behaviour” of the Prague Public Health led to widespread condemnation by human rights defenders.

“I’m delighted that these charges have been dropped,” commented Matthew Hodson, Executive Director of NAM, reported Pink News. “Criminalisation of HIV is intended to prevent infections. In reality, it does no such thing.”

He pointed out that an HIV positive person under treatment with an undetectable viral load is considered to be effectively “un-infectious”.

“HIV criminalisation doesn’t prevent new HIV infections. Rather it discourages testing, stigmatises people living with HIV and supports some in believing that that the law will somehow protect them from infection and, as a result, take fewer precautions,” said Hodson.

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