An HIV-positive man from Gwanda who was taking anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs secretly without the knowledge of his wife who is a nurse, has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for deliberately infecting the woman.
The 42-year-old man, who was employed as a driver at Blanket Mine, was convicted on his own plea of guilty to charges of deliberately transmitting HIV to his wife by regional magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza.
He will, however, serve an effective five years in prison after the magistrate suspended three years for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence.
The man was also cautioned and discharged for physically abusing the woman after she found out his secret.
Regional prosecutor, Johannes Tlou, said the man and his wife got married sometime in August 2013 and they started having sexual intercourse.
On February 3, 2014, the wife went for an HIV test and the results came out negative.
“On September 4, 2014, at around 8am, the complainant was cleaning the house when she opened a drawer in the wardrobe and discovered a packet of cotrimoxazole and anti-retroviral drugs which were hidden under her husband’s cap.
“The complainant asked her husband why he had not revealed to her that he was taking ARV tablets. The man told her that she was invading his privacy,” Tlou told the court.
The court heard that on September 9 the same year, the woman proceeded to a Family Planning Centre where she was tested for HIV and she tested positive.
Tlou said the woman made a report to the police and she and her husband were taken to Gwanda Provincial Hospital for HIV testing and they both tested positive.
He said on November 29 at around 11pm, the man arrived at their house drunk and found the complainant in the house.
He then phoned his mother who stays in Bulawayo telling her to come to his house and chase away his wife because he no longer loved her.
“The complainant asked her husband why he was doing that to her. The man started assaulting her.
“He kicked her with booted feet and punched her several times all over her body with fists.
“The man also took a broom stick and struck her twice with it on the right arm,” the court heard.
He later stopped assaulting her and he went out of the house.
The complainant made a report to the police and was referred to hospital for medical examination.