Deliberate HIV infection occurred in the Karaganda region. Two women became victims of an irresponsible man. One of them became pregnant.
Hump, Dump and In The Clink
«The perpetrator not only engaged in one-time sexual contact with these women but was married to each of them. He did not disclose his HIV status to either the first or the second wife, despite having been registered for two marriages before,» – stipulates the criminal investigation dossier.
The first knowledge of the infection came to the light when one of the women went to the clinic for prenatal care due to her pregnancy. She informed the doctors that she had no other sexual partners.
When the HIV-positive status of the woman was confirmed, her husband was apprehended. Following this, law enforcement authorities located the first wife of the suspect and insisted that she also undergo testing. The results showed that the former spouse of the man was also infected.
Now, the perpetrator is being charged with a criminal offense under Article 118, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan – infecting another person with HIV by a person aware of their own illness.
» Citizen S., being aware of his HIV status for over 10 years and being informed of the criminal liability for the spread and infection of another person with HIV/AIDS, engaged in sexual relations with sexual partners without using protection. Furthermore, Citizen S. did not inform his sexual partners of his HIV status. The case is being heard in a closed court session. A verdict has not been reached,» as reported by the press service of the Temirtau City Court.
Currently, the man is in pretrial detention awaiting the court’s decision. As for his pregnant wife, she is currently taking medication, so there is hope that the child will be born healthy.
Ignorance is No Waiver
Intentional HIV transmission is a criminal offence in Kazakhstan. If a person unintentionally infects another with the virus, they may face a fine of up to two hundred times the monthly calculation index, penal labor in the same amount, community service for a period of up to one hundred eighty hours, or arrest for up to fifty days.
However, if a person knowingly conceals their HIV-positive status, they can face imprisonment for up to five years.
If an individual infects two or more persons or if the victim is a minor, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term ranging from 5 to 10 years. These legal measures are in place to address the serious nature of HIV transmission and protect public health.
The case of the Karaganda City resident, who infected two women with HIV is one of the few cases that have made it to court. The majority of Kazakhstani citizens do not file complaints. Some are afraid of condemnation and publicity, while others are concerned that they might have unknowingly infected their partners before they were aware of their own HIV status. The fear of criminal liability outweighs the need for medical assistance for many.
For this reason, some activists call for an end to the prosecution of individuals for infecting others with HIV, but is such a measure justified?
Retaliation or Discrimination?
Law enforcement officials explain that intentional HIV transmission occurs for several reasons. Some individuals resort to such actions to control their partners, believing that after infection, their partner will be less likely to find a new life companion.
In AIDS centers, it is mentioned that drug addicts are known to intentionally infect their partners. This makes it easier to manipulate them and persuade them to accept or even participate in drug addiction.
There are also cases where women intentionally infect themselves from their partners to support them in their struggle with the virus, acting as supportive partners.
There are, however, controversial cases where it is challenging for investigators to identify the guilty party. Such cases have occurred recently in neighboring Russia. Each situation is unique and complex, often involving a range of motives and circumstances.
A 17-year-old girl, already aware of her HIV-positive status, met a 31-year-old man. Charmed by his new acquaintance, the man rented an apartment for her and offered her a place to stay. When the «crucial moment» arrived, the girl suggested using condoms. She couldn’t bring herself to directly disclose her HIV-positive status, fearing physical harm and rumors. Confident of his invincibility, the man rejected protection.
Since the girl was a minor, she was not punished, and essentially, there were no grounds for it. The man, so to speak, «got away with it.» He did not get infected, but he still decided to take his lover to court. According to human rights advocates, this case is unusual because both partners acted extremely irresponsibly. From the perspective of his age, the man should have certainly understood that unprotected sexual contact carries consequences, and the girl should have been aware of her responsibility, if not to her partner, then at least to the law. Lawyers working with victims under Article 118 are convinced: criminal prosecution is simply necessary. After all, most of the accused have heard «lectures» from doctors about their diagnosis more than once. However, due to irresponsibility, unwillingness to acknowledge the problem, or even malicious intent, they refused to take basic preventive measures at the moment of intimacy.