Woman jailed for hiding HIV

A woman in Skåne who hid the fact that she was HIV positive from her husband for nine years has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail.

The Malmö Court of Appeal on Friday confirmed the sentence passed down by Helsingborg District Court. According to the Appeal Court, the woman was guilty of attempted serious assault when she had unprotected sex with her husband and had two children by him.

The woman, now aged 40, was only 19 when in 1987 she was diagnosed as HIV positive. She was told she would probably only live a couple of years. Since then her health has improved radically thanks to her use of anti-retroviral drugs. When the woman met the man who was to become her husband in the 1990s, she kept quiet about her HIV status.

Neither the man nor the couple’s children became infected. During the trial questions were raised over whether there really was a real risk of infection, as the levels of the virus in the woman’s blood was very low.

Helsingborg District Court ruled that the risk of infection was real and convicted the woman of attempted serious assault. Prosecutors appealed for a tougher sentence, while the woman appealed to have her conviction quashed.

The woman underwent psychiatric tests, which judged her to be of sound mind. But a doctor and a psychologist said that she would be very badly affected by a prison sentence.