Suspended Sentence For Nadja Benaissa HIV Transmission CaseAugust 26, 2010 1 Comment
You might not have been aware, but the highest profile case for HIV transmission was going on in Europe this week and they have reached a verdict.
The former pop star, Nadja Benaissa from No Angels, had unprotected sex with several men about ten years ago and was on trial this week after one of them also became HIV-positive.
She has “expressed remorse” and claims the doctors told her the chances of her passing the virus on to anybody “was practically zero” so she wasn’t concerned about using condoms.
The final verdict was ”guilty of causing bodily harm to one man, and of two cases of attempted bodily harm.” She has a two-year suspended sentence, she will have to do 300 hours of community service, but will not have to go to jail.
HIV transmission cases are fraught with problems and controversy.
Many of the leading HIV charities do not support the criminalization of HIV transmission.
They believe that criminalization does not help solve any problems and that only intentional transmission should pose the threat of jail.
Everybody should be responsible for their own sexual health, and if someone chooses to have sex without a condom then they should take responsibility for that instead of blaming someone else.
They also beleive that putting someone with HIV in jail will put that person at further risk because of a lack of access to proper health care within the jail and the forced sex that happens in jail.
There is also the possibility that the threat of criminalization will stop people from revealing their status to their partners when they might otherwise do so.
I completely agree that people need to take responsibility for their own sexual health, but I also think that people have the responsibility to protect their partners.
Perhaps she got off more easily in this case because of her lack of understanding about how the virus is transmitted.
I’m not sure what the right answer is, but perhaps making these civil cases instead of criminal cases might be a solution. I’m not a lawyer, but I can see how the criminalization of HIV might cause more problems than it solves. But what’s the best solution? I have no idea.