I was going to post the first article the Toronto Star ran and had strong opinions about this, but ever since more revelations have been released my opinions have changed. In the beginning I was leaning towards his side. Now that I know more about it, it will be interesting to see how this case ends up. It’s not an isolated incident, so the chances of him not being convicted is very slim.
His lawyers disagree that the 2 women who were infected and died is in result from the disease, it’s just coincidental that they both died ?????
HIV takes over and it tries to sabotage the immune system and the body, that’s why those who have HIV have to take lots of medications to slow down the process. When the immune system is under attack and becomes weak it makes it difficult for the good cells to defend and fend off the bad cells. That’s why those who have HIV have to be extra diligent when it comes to their health. Anyway, these women died because of the HIV, he should be accountable for it.
HAMILTON–The unprecedented murder trial of a man accused of having
unprotected sex with numerous women while aware of his HIV-positive status began
today with the prosecution saying he lied to his partners about his health
Johnson Aziga, 52, of Hamilton, faces two counts of first-degree murder
because two of his girlfriends died of what the Crown claims were HIV-related
cancers, and 11 counts of aggravated sexual assault.
“One may immediately think of a violent rape scenario,” prosecutor Tim Power
told the three-woman, nine-man jury.
“That is not what this case is all about.”
Rather, Power said in his opening statement, Aziga put his partners at risk
of serious bodily harm without their knowing, even having sex with one woman on
the morning of his arrest in August 2003.
Seven of his 11 partners tested positive for HIV, including the two who
Aziga, dressed in a dark grey jacket, sat between his two lawyers during
today’s proceedings, listening intently and taking notes.
While there have been several criminal prosecutions in Canada and the U.S.
related to the wilful spread of HIV, this appears to be the first time someone
has been charged with lethally infecting partners.
“As far as I am aware, this is the first-ever first-degree murder trial for
sexual HIV transmission,” Edwin Bernard, a British-based writer and editor
specializing in HIV who tracks criminal cases involving the infection, said from
Aziga’s lawyers said they plan to challenge “each and every aspect” of the
Crown’s case during a trial they anticipate could last more than six weeks.
“We are sorry for the families,” Davies Bagambiire said outside of court.
“(But) we do not believe it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the
deaths emanated from the HIV virus.”
The United Nations AIDS program and AIDS activists oppose criminal
prosecutions, arguing they unfairly stigmatize HIV carriers and rely on faulty
assumptions about the nature of the virus’s transmission and risks.
Power told court that evidence will show Aziga, an immigrant from Uganda,
knew in January 1997 he had tested positive for a strain of HIV rarely found in
North America, but failed to tell his partners.
Despite several counselling sessions on the risks of transmission and two
public health orders that he inform partners about his status and use condoms
during sex, he did not do so, Power said.
In addition, when some of the women asked him directly – including one who
initially used condoms with him – if he had the human immunodeficiency virus, he
“He went further and lied,” Power said.
One woman, a colleague of Aziga’s who had a relationship with him in the
summer of 2001, videotaped a statement just before her death in December 2003
that is to be played as evidence.
In it, she says was ignorant of Aziga’s HIV status, Power told Ontario
The second deceased recorded an audio statement just prior to her death,
indicating Aziga feigned ignorance about his infection when she contacted him in
2003 to tell him she had tested positive for HIV, court heard.
As a result, the Crown argued, the women could not have consented to sexual
relations with Aziga, a former employee of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney
In fact, Power said, the women will testify they would not have had sex with
Aziga had they known.
The first witness, Dr. Shariq Haider, a Hamilton-based expert on infectious
diseases including HIV, testified close to 64,000 Canadians have tested positive
for HIV since the mid-1980s, when the epidemic was first identified.
Of those, he said, about 20,000 carriers developed AIDS, the “end stage” of
infection at which point the body’s compromised immune system allows for often
fatal opportunistic infections and cancers to attack.
Haider testified that the chances of transmission of HIV range from about 0.1
per cent to 0.3 per cent for a single sex act, with the likelihood depending on
how badly infected the carrier is, the health of the recipient and the type of
Anal intercourse is the most risky, followed by vaginal intercourse, he said,
adding condoms are not foolproof in preventing transmission.
A person can be asymptomatic for 10 years before AIDS suddenly develops,
Hailer said, though early drug intervention post-exposure can help arrest the
The trial before Justice Thomas Lofchik continues.