NewsWed Apr 18, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Deliberate HIV-Infection Rampage Kept from Australian Police by Health Officials
By Gudrun Schultz
AUSTRALIA, April 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Two Australian men who openly admitted their campaigns to intentionally infect others with HIV were not reported to police, out of health officials’ concerns for the individuals’ medical privacy, according to a report published April 10 in The Daily Telegraph.
Melbourne resident Michael Neal was committed March 29 to stand trial on 106 charges, including deliberately spreading HIV, attempting to spread a lethal disease, rape and child pornography.
The Victorian Department of Human Services had been contacted nine times over a four year period by doctors and concerned individuals who accused Neal of deliberately infecting others with the disease, according to the Telegraph report. Neal himself told the DHS at his first meeting with health officials that he had unprotected sex with multiple partners and only sometimes informed them he was HIV positive.
A psychiatrist who examined Michael Neal in 2004 informed the DHS that Neal was the “most evil man I have seen in 20 years” who “enjoys infecting men with HIV”—Neal allegedly referred to his infection attempts as “breeding” the disease.
One witness at Neal’s committal hearing reported that Neal hosted a “conversion party” to infect a 15-year-old boy with HIV. The boy was reportedly drugged with methamphetamines before undergoing sex with about 15 HIV-positive men.
Despite numerous accusations of dangerous and criminal behavior, the DHS failed to inform police authorities, instead following a lengthy process including counseling, education and support. That was followed by a letter of warning when his behavior did not change, and officials finally issued orders that restricted his sexual activity and required him to make daily contact with a department official.
When the police were finally informed, health officials refused to disclose Neal’s medical files until a subpoena was issued that required his doctors to give evidence in court.
In a similar case in South Australia, health officials were warned in 2005 that Stuart McDonald was intentionally spreading HIV, but two years passed before he was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation and stop having unprotected sex and advertising for sex on the Internet.
Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr. Robert Hall, was fired by Health Minister Bronwyn Pike on April 15, reported The Age, over concerns he was thwarting police investigation of HIV cases, including accusations against Michael Neal. Ms. Pike has received calls for her own resignation over the case and a public investigation into the health department.
She defended her actions in a public statement yesterday, saying she was not responsible for communication failures in the department and that she had acted decisively as soon as she became aware of police complaints against DHS officials.
AIDS organizations in Australia warned in November that HIV infection rates were soaring in Sydney’s homosexual community, with infection rates rivaling that of African nations at between 10% and 18%.
Last year in New South Wales 954 people were diagnosed with HIV, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, and almost three-quarters of those infected caught the disease through homosexual activity. The steady rise in HIV/AIDS infection rates has been attributed to a growing laxity towards protection among the homosexual community.
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
California Homosexual Organization Admits HIV/AIDS is "Gay Disease"
HIV/AIDS Rates Rise Sharply in Canada: 51% of Infections Among Homosexual Men
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