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)