HIV-positive Man Didn’t Take Test As He Feared Losing Permanent Residency; Infected Others

Some people avoid getting tested for HIV.

Just like the fear behind going for a cancer screening, some are afraid of how the test results will determine their future.

Image: BBC

Some are afraid of being defined by their disease. For example, the HIV data leak incident saw many HIV positive people panic as they fear that their status as an HIV positive person would affect the way their family, friends and employers think about them.

Similarly, this man had his reasons for avoiding the test. And the reason was simple—he was afraid that he would lose his permanent residency status in Singapore.

Suspected That He Could Have HIV 

The 35-year-old Malaysian man, who could not be named due to gag orders issued by the court, started engaging in sexual activity with men in Singapore in 2003.

He had suspected that he could have been exposed to HIV or was infected with it, however, he decided to not get tested.

At least six other men who had sex with him was later diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to the person who had reported him to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening infections and cancers to thrive.

Lied To Health Authorities When They Contacted Him 

In 2010, the accused had sex with a man who later informed him that he was tested positive for HIV.

MOH’s National Public Health Unit (NPHU) also contacted the man to tell him that he was a sexual contact of an HIV-positive person.

NPHU had advised him to go for testing.

However, the man lied and claimed that he gets tested regularly for the virus and had been found negative in the latest test.

Did Not Tell Sexual Partners About The Risk Of Contracting AIDS/HIV From Him

The accused had unprotected sex with a man from Grindr in July 2013.

In February 2014, he met another man for sex.

He did not tell both partners about the risk of contracting AIDS or HIV infection from him. One of his partners also asked if he was HIV positive, but he did not answer him.

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Both of his partners were diagnosed with HIV infection afterwards. The accused was also the last person they had sex with before their diagnosis.

At this point, he was just being selfish. 

Image: Giphy

Didn’t Get Tested Despite Being Exposed To Virus 

In the next five years following the first call from NPHU, the man was contacted at least three times in the last five years,  informing him of the same thing each time.

Whenever NPHU asked him to be tested for the virus, he would continue with the lie that he had already been tested negative for HIV.

The accused finally got tested after an order from MOH was issued.

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He was tested positive for HIV on Feb 13, 2013.

Involvement With Drugs

The man was also arrested for drug offences more than a year after he was tested positive.


He had smoked methamphetamine, also known as “Ice”.

Image: The Conversation

The accused was nabbed again in April this year after he admitted to smoking meth or Ice on about five occasions in March.

The Accused Was “Willfully Blind” 

The prosecution asked for a sentence of 45 months’ jail, stating that there were multiple victims and some of the drug offences took place while he was on bail.

Mr Andre Moses Tan, from MOH’s legal office, said that the accused had chosen to be “willfully blind” to the possibility of having HIV infection.

He had also deceived NPHU on multiple occasions.


His defence lawyer, James Ow Yong, asked for 35 months’ jail instead, citing that his client had no previous convictions and was “also bearing the brunt of his offences” because HIV is still an incurable disease.

For his offence under the Infectious Diseases Act, he could have been jailed up to 10 years, fined up to $50,000 or both.

For the consumption of meth, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years, fined a maximum $20,000, or both.

Moral Of The Story? 

Practising safe sex is important—especially if you frequently engage in casual sex.

Get tested regularly to avoid transmitting diseases to others.

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