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Court told
of HIV-positive Aussie's sex rampage

Court told
of HIV-positive Aussie's sex rampage

A court in Melbourne, Australia, heard testimony Wednesday from witnesses that an HIV-positive man had unprotected sex with hundreds of men, with the man's physician citing his patient's report of unsafe encounters with 200 men in a single year. The Melbourne magistrates' court heard that Michael Neal, 48, made the disturbing confession to physician Giles Brewster, who treated him on two occasions. Brewster said Neal told him the figure of 200 during a consultation to treat gonorrhea on April 14, 2003. "Michael said he was unable to retain an erection with a condom on.... I reiterated that his behavior was against the law," Brewster said. In further testimony, a former sexual partner of Neal's who is HIV-positive said Neal spoke of "conversion parties," where HIV-positive men would supposedly have unprotected sex with HIV-negative men trying to contract the virus, a phenomenon known as "bug chasing." The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the court that his former lover, Neal, had vowed to "seed" him. He said Neal had told him: "You will be daddy's little poz [HIV-positive] boy." The man, who told the court he did not have the virus when he began the relationship with Neal in September 2001, said Neal told him of his positive status. The man said he became suspicious of Neal's intent when he became HIV-positive in July 2004. "Have you said to other persons in the past that Mr. Neal tried to deliberately infect you with HIV for a period of two years?" the prosecutor asked the man. "Yes...there have been times when I have felt that happened," the man said. The man told the court he witnessed Neal taking part in group sex and having sex at gay venues such as Club 80 in Collingwood and at the Laird Hotel in Abbotsford. Neal, a father of five, is accused of trying to infect 16 men between October 2000 and March 2005. Five of the alleged victims have since tested HIV-positive. He faces 120 charges, including intentionally causing a very serious disease, rape, and possessing and producing child pornography. (Cath Pope, U.K./Gay.com)

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