29 May 2009

Police track more potential HIV victims

4:17 pm on 29 May 2009

Auckland District Court has been told there may be as many as 15 other potential victims of a man accused of spreading HIV.

The man, 40, appeared in the court on Friday charged with wilfully infecting a 17-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 26-year-old man.

He is also charged with attempting to expose a 31-year-old man to the virus.

The accused was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.

The court heard that the man has been deliberately targeting younger men to sleep with, meeting them on internet dating websites or in gay night clubs.

Police are talking to more potential complainants, including a 15-year-old, and are urging others to come forward.

They say the man has been sexually active in Auckland and Wellington, with men and women.

The prosecutor opposed bail, saying the accused may re-offend if he is allowed access to internet dating sites and gay night clubs.

Police also believe he has been trying to evade them and say he has tried to dissuade at least one complainant from talking to them.

The man's lawyer says her client plans to defend the charges.