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Two HIV-positive men criminally charged in Prague

Czech Police. Source: Wikicommons

The charges result from the men seeking medical attention for other STIs.

By BOHEMIST STAFF

PRAGUE – Police have formally charged two men with crimes under the Czech Criminal Code in the latest development in a case that has shocked health professionals across Europe.

Local media iDens.cz reported yesterday that Prague police have officially laid criminal charges against two HIV-positive men for “intentionally causing or increasing the risk of introduction or spread of infectious diseases in humans”. The two men now face up to eight years behind bars.

The two men are from the group of 30 patients who were dragged into the headlines in February this year the Prague Sanitary Office filed a criminal complaint against the HIV-positive men. The Sanitary Office accused the group of committing serious bodily harm and spreading a contagious disease. The HIV-positive men had presented to health authorities for treatment of sexually-transmitted infections. The health authorities in treating the men concluded that the HIV-positive men must have obtained the STIs from having unprotected sex and filed the criminal charge, exposing the HIV-positive patients to up to ten years behind bars.

Police investigated all 30 criminal complaints and ultimately dropped charges against almost half of the accused. An EU-wide petition was launched asking for government intervention in the outrageous complaint.

It is medically accepted that HIV-positive persons will not necessarily transmit the virus through unprotected sex if their viral loading is low and they are undertaking appropriate medical treatment. Use of physical contraception is still recommended in cases of doubt.

One of this year’s themes for Prague Pride is HIV. Testing facilities will be available throughout the city and the Rainbow Tram of Prague will provide further education about the prevention and management of HIV.

The three UN pillars for HIV are: zero new infections, zero deaths and zero discrimination.

HIV-positive numbers in Czech Republic jumped nearly 20 percent in the first six months of this year.

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