An HIV-positive man infected his wife with the virus because he wanted to start having sex with her again.
The 35-year-old injected his blood into the sleeping woman, who had refused to have a physical relationship for a year after discovering he was carrying the virus that causes Aids.
He pricked her twice with a sewing needle laced with his blood, believing the pair would be ‘equals’ once more. But he was behind bars in New Zealand today awaiting sentencing after admitting infecting another person with a disease.
The husband had emigrated to the country in 2004 with his wife and two young children, none of whom can be named.
Immigration officials found he had HIV, but his wife and children did not, during compulsory health checks.
The woman, 33, confronted her partner on discovering she was infected a year later.
She said: ‘All he said was he was sorry. He told me “I used needles on you because I wanted you to be the same as me so that you can live with me and you won’t leave me”.’
She told the court: ‘I just wanted to maintain the relationship for the sake of the children…He insisted on staying and mentioned that he was not worried about sex…any more. All he wanted was to see the children grow with both parents under one roof.’
But in May last year, she said, she discovered a sting-like mark on her left thigh. ‘After having a shower I put some lotion on myself and I could feel pain on my thigh. When I looked at it, it was turning red like a circle, getting and bigger.’
Later that morning, when she returned home from her nursing studies unexpectedly, she said, she saw her husband in the bedroom with a syringe full of blood.
When she asked him what he was doing, he pushed past her and walked away, refusing to discuss it. The wife searched a rubbish bin for evidence of the syringe but found nothing.
The paper reported that two days later the wife woke to a stinging feeling in her leg. ‘In my sleep I felt a prick on my leg I got up..and I flicked the blankets…I looked at (the husband) and he was wide awake.’
She said she asked him if he had pricked her and he said he had not. But later she found evidence of ‘blood sprinkles’ on their duvet, which, she said, her husband tried to hide from her.
She told him to leave the house – and in September, when her doctor suggested a test at a routine check-up, she found she was HIV-positive.
A nurse who had been in contact with the family and who was present when her GP told her the bad news told the court: ‘At this meeting (the woman) was beside herself with emotion. (She) could not work out how she had got HIV because she stated that she had not had sex with her partner for about a year.’
Later, during a meeting with an infectious disease specialist, the husband cried and repeated: ‘Please forgive me.’
The Sunday Star Times quoted Mr Simon Harger-Ford of the New Zealand Aids Foundation as saying that the organisation had never heard of a victim being infected in such a way ‘and with such intent.’