Gay HIV man convicted of transmitting the virus

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An HIV-positive gay man who told a sexual partner he was negative and then infected him has been convicted of deliberately transmitting the virus.

Brisbane District Court convicted 37-year-old Mark Reid of transmitting the HIV virus with intent yesterday and is due to be sentenced shortly.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

The conviction is the first of its kind in Queensland and comes a week after the New South Wales District Court sentenced a Sydney man for infecting two women with HIV.

According to court documents, Reid picked up the man at a Brisbane gay bar in early 2003 and the pair began a sexual relationship that lasted several months. The partner said Reid assured him he was HIV-negative before and during the relationship, in which they had unprotected sex.

The man, whose name has been suppressed, broke off his relationship with Reid when he learned he had been infected. He later said he never would have slept with Reid if he had known he was HIV-positive.

Reid, who has had HIV since 1987, gave a different account to police, claiming he had told the other man he was HIV-positive. He said the pair had unprotected sex because they were drunk.

But prosecutor Ross Martin told the court the infection could only have been deliberate.

“So gross was his behaviour that the only possible inference (was) that he intended to give HIV to (him),” he said.

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