Dominion Post 15 March 2012
OPINION: The Aids Foundation supports the right of HIV-positive patients to conceal their condition from their sexual partners provided they use proper protection. It could not be more wrong. Everybody who enters into a sexual relationship has a fundamental right to be fully informed about any risk they might be exposing themselves to. HIV might not be the near-certain death sentence it once was, and the risk of transmitting it through sex might be small with the right protection, but there is still a risk. Condoms can be faulty, they can break and can be ineffective if not properly used. It is unconscionable to advocate the right for somebody to expose another person to that risk without them knowing.
…The Aids Foundation claims that allowing sexual violation charges against people who know they have HIV but fail to tell their sexual partners will increase discrimination and lead to a “significant decrease” in testing. That is a cop-out. The Court of Appeal case was not about the rights of people with HIV, but the rights of those with whom they wish to have sex to have a full understanding of the possible consequences. The Aids Foundation disagrees. It is happy for those who have HIV to keep that secret from their sexual partners, provided they use condoms and lubricant. Its position is irresponsible and does nothing to engender confidence that it has the community’s health as its highest priority.