Bill laid in Parliament yesterday
From the Trinidad News http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=44269097
Saturday, October 30th 2004
NEW LEGISLATION proposing to impose ten-year jail terms for Aids transmission offences was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday by Attorney General John Jeremie.
The explanatory note of the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) (HIV) Bill, 2004 says the legislation seeks "to make it an offence to intentionally or recklessly expose another to infection with HIV."
Clause two of the Bill introduces a new section to the Act making it an "indictable offence if a person who knows, or ought to know, he is HIV positive does not so inform another person and engages in conduct, including intimate conduct, with that person."
It lists other prohibited conduct as instances where "the infected person transfers, donates or provides his body parts for human use or where he sells or in any way transfers to another person any intravenous or intra-muscular drug paraphernalia which he has utilised."
The legislation provides for anyone committing the offence may be convicted of intentional or reckless exposure of another to the (HIV) infection to be liable to imprisonment for terms of ten and seven years respectively.
The Bill also provides for instances where a person may be not guilty of intentional exposure he could be found guilty of reckless exposure. "Should the conduct result in the death of the other person, the offence of manslaughter is committed," the explanatory note adds.
Clause three of the Bill proposes a new section to make it an indictable offence if an individual or institution undertakes to supply or transfer, transfusion or transplantation of tissues, organs, blood, etc to or into a person and the person becomes infected with HIV owing to gross negligence on the part of the individual or institution.
The HIV Bill also provides for an individual or institution guilty of this offence to be liable to a fine of $500 and the institution may, additionally, have its operating licence revoked by an Order of the Court.
It was Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis who signalled Government's intention several months ago to make the wilful spread of the HIV/Aids virus a criminal offence.
The explanatory note to the HIV Bill further states: "It would be a defence that the person exposed to HIV knew from the accused person that the accused person was infected with HIV and consented to the conduct with that knowledge."
A Magistrate may order the taking of blood samples for forensic testing if the evidence so warrants.
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