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Man jailed for seven years for recklessly infecting two partners with HIV

By Will Stroude

A 25-year-old man who recklessly infected two former partners with HIV has been jailed for seven years.

Antonio Reyes-Minana, of Arnold, Nottinghamshire, tested positive for HIV in 2010 before going on to have unprotected sex with two partners without telling them he had the virus.

He was introduced to one partner through friends and met the other online, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

In the case of one victim, Reyes-Minana “explicitly lied” about his HIV status, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The two victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – discovered that they had contracted the virus in 2012 during routine screening.

Further tests revealed they carried the same strain of the virus was present in Reyes-Minana and his two victims, and that transmission was likely to have taken place during their relationships.

Reyes-Minana, who was charged in October 2015, was found guilty of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm on Tuesday (15 August).

A judge jailed him for seven years – three and half years for each victim – with half the sentence to be served behind bars and half to be served on license.

James Allen from the Crown Prosecution Service said the sentence “reflects the seriousness of his offending”.

“The consequences of Reyes-Minana’s actions will remain with his victims for the rest of their lives,” he said.

DS Andrew Hall, of Nottinghamshire police, welcomed the sentence, saying: “We hope this raises awareness of this issue and how important it is to disclose such medical conditions.”

However, HIV charities warned that such prosecutions could potentially add to the stigma surrounding the virus.

Mick Mason, Regional Manager of Terrence Higgins Trust in the Midlands, said: “It’s important that any prosecutions for HIV transmissions don’t add to the stigma around HIV, or discourage people from testing and knowing their HIV status.

“People who are on effective HIV treatment are not infectious. This means the vast majority of HIV transmissions come from people who do not know they have the virus – 1 in 7 people living with HIV do not know they have it.

“It’s vital that people get tested, so they can access effective treatment to live long and healthy lives and to become uninfectious. Over 90% of people who are on HIV treatment are un-infectious meaning they cannot pass it on, so is always better to get tested and know your status.”

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