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HIV-positive man accused of exposing others to HIV seeks to overturn prison sentence because his viral load is so small

Saturday, May 08, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: HIV-positive, infection, health news


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(NaturalNews) An HIV-positive man from Sudan is seeking to overturn a 14-year prison sentence he received for failing to disclose his disease to his many sex partners. According to attorney Ian McNair, Clato Mabior's "viral load" was so low that none of his partners were at any significant risk of contracting HIV from him.

Mabior was convicted in 2008 of six counts of aggravated sexual assault involving six of his victims, one count of sexual touching, and one of sexual interference. One of these victims was only 12 years old at the time of the offense and three others were only 17.

Though none of the victims actually contracted HIV from Mabior, attorney Liz Thompson explained in a Manitoba Court of Appeals hearing that defining what constitutes a "significant risk" is subjective and should not be considered by the court for potentially letting Mabior off the hook. According to her, putting anyone in harm's way, even if it is only one out of 100,000 people, is a criminal offense.

When Mabior was first arrested in March of 2006, police suspected that as many as 45 girls and women may have been victimized by him. Even before his arrest, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority made a public warning about Mabior, alerting people that he was knowingly having sex with people who were unaware of his HIV-positive status and defying medical advice that urged him to disclose the truth to all of his partners.

During his first trial, police explained that they believed Mabior had been luring victims to his home with promises of drugs, alcohol, and a place to stay. Since many of his victims were runaways, their desperation made them more vulnerable to his tactics.

Having already served five years of his original sentence, Mabior has a little over seven years to go if the court decides to reject his appeal. No matter what the outcome, officials plan to deport Mabior back to Sudan once he has served his sentence.

According to Lab Tests Online, HIV viral load is measured in terms of the number of HIV copies in a milliliter of blood. By keeping an HIV viral load low, complications from the disease are slowed as is the progression from HIV to AIDS. Eventually, viral load levels will likely begin to increase if the disease is not combatted through means other than synthetic drugs and conventional therapies.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipeg/201...

http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/...

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