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Australian Online HIV predator's accusers go public
  Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 15th May 2009
7.30PM: As the formal police investigation into the HIV 'predator' allegedly knowingly infecting young gay men with HIV ramps up, a number of people close to the allegations are beginning to front up publicly with their parts of the story.
HIV activist and researcher Michael Stevens, whom was only able to refer to as 'Max' earlier in the week and who is himself HIV positive, has now gone public with his claim that a young man he is supporting is one of those who believe he was recently infected by the predator. The man at the centre of the allegations cannot be identified for legal reasons. Stevens says he is not surprised that only one man has come forward so far to lodge a complaint with the police, and that that man "deserves a medal." He says the victims he is aware of are "very young and very nervous."
Rhys Jones, who assisted in the early stages of our investigations, says he has three young acquaintances who have contracted HIV. He says they all tested positive in a period between a year and three months ago. All have identified the predator as the source of the infection.
Jones and Stevens have each characterised the young victims of the 40 year old man as besotted with him, unable to accept that what he has allegedly done to them is a crime that deserves a prison sentence.
Body Positive Auckland has now publicly admitted that it is aware of the case and is supporting three young men to come to terms with their HIV status and how they came to be infected. The NZ AIDS Foundation has so far declined to give details of whether its testing and support centres are aware or are involved with any of the victims, citing privacy requirements.
It is emerging that some health agencies, including the Auckland Medical Officer of Health, may have been attempting to address the situation through their own channels before broke the story last Tuesday. However, it is not yet known how long the agencies had been aware of the problem or what steps they were taking.
Detective Sergeant Andy King who is heading up the police investigation says he urges anyone who has had contact with the as yet unidentified man - whose description can be accessed on the news story link below - to contact him on (09) 302 6611.
The NZ AIDS Foundation, Body Positive Auckland and other HIV-related organisations are reiterating their availability to provide support and conduct confidential HIV and STD tests for anyone worried they may be a victim of the predator.
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