New Zealand court
rules condom users don’t have to disclose HIV status

A New Zealand
court this week ruled that an HIV-positive man does not
have to disclose his HIV status to his sex partners as long
as he uses condoms during intercourse, the New Zealand
Press Association reports. Justin Dalley, who had sex
with a woman he met over the Internet in April 2004,
was charged with violating New Zealand’s law that
requires HIV-positive people to disclose that they are

But Judge Susan
Thomas, who acquitted Dalley, said he had taken
reasonable precautions to prevent exposing his sex partners
to the virus and as such he did not put them at danger
of becoming infected with HIV. "The evidence of health
experts in the area is that the use of a condom for
vaginal intercourse is sufficient for the prevention of the
transmission of HIV and that this can be met without the
requirement for discourse," Thomas said. Although
Thomas said people might have a moral duty to inform
their sex partners of their HIV infections, as long as
they engage in protected sex they do not have a legal
obligation to do so.

attorney, Donald Stevens, said he expects the ruling to set
a legal precedent in New Zealand and throughout the
world in protecting the privacy of HIV patients. If
HIV-positive people who practiced safer sex were
legally required to disclose their infections, many people
would avoid taking HIV antibody tests in order to
avoid knowing whether or not they were infected with
the virus, Stevens said. (

Tags: Health, Health

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