Dalley Decision Welcomed - 5-Oct-2005
Common sense has prevailed, and HIV prevention strategies enhanced, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation said today as it welcomed the “not guilty” decision in the case of an HIV positive man charged with criminal nuisance for not disclosing his status during protected vaginal intercourse and unprotected oral sex.
“Today’s decision reinforces what the New Zealand AIDS Foundation has been saying for 20 years,” said Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier, “that the best strategy for avoiding HIV during anal or vaginal intercourse is the consistent and proper use of condoms.
“Relying on HIV positive people to tell you, and assuming that unprotected intercourse is ‘safe’ if HIV is not mentioned, is a much riskier strategy, especially as approximately one third of people with HIV in New Zealand don’t know they have it, and so can’t tell.
“We are pleased that this decision has highlighted that it is condoms, not disclosure, that keeps people safe.”
Ms Le Mesurier said that the court decision has reflected the biological reality of HIV infection; that there is almost zero risk of HIV transmission from unprotected oral sex and that condoms reduce the risk to such low levels that disclosure of HIV status is not necessary.