Man in S'pore didn't know he donated HIV-contaminated blood, jailed 4 months as he lied about sex history

The man initially denied having sex when his blood was found to be HIV-positive.

Matthias Ang | October 04, 2019, 12:23 AM

A quantity surveyor who did not know that he had donated HIV-contaminated blood in 2017 was found to have lied about his sexual history, CNA reported.

He was sentenced to four months' jail and fined S$10,000 for making false declarations under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Previously donated blood fives times without incident

The incident occurred on Sep. 30, 2017.

The man had gone to a Health Sciences Authority (HSA) blood donation drive, at Tzu Chi Foundation Jing Si Hall on 9 Elias Road, to donate blood to the Bloodbank@HSA.

Prior to this instance, the man had donated blood five times.

All five instances tested negative for HIV.

He cannot be named due to a gag order protecting his identity.

Answered "no" in response to questions about sex activity

While completing a donor health questionnaire before donating his blood, the man answered "no" to the following questions:

  • Whether he had engaged in sexual activity with another male as a male donor, and
  • Whether he had engaged in sexual activity with anyone that he knew for fewer than six months in the past year.

He then declared that the answers were true.

Afterwards, he was told by a medical screener that he was liable for prosecution if he was found to have given misleading answers.

Claimed he never had sex before when his blood was found to be HIV-infected

The man was subsequently interviewed for HIV risk factors once his blood was found to be HIV-infected by HSA's laboratory, CNA further highlighted.

Jason Lee, a legal assistant director at the Ministry of Health (MOH), stated that the man claimed to have never had sex before and that he also did not participate in risky activities.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for HSA was quoted as stating that the man's blood sample was isolated and destroyed, with none of it transfused to other patients.

Admitted to having sex with a male foreign worker and strangers in the Philippines

The man eventually admitted to a MOH officer that he had sex with a male foreign worker in public in June 2017, as well as with strangers in the Philippines.

He also admitted to sex with a man in a toilet cubicle at Causeway Point in mid-2017.

Under the penal code, the man could have received a jail term of up to two years, a fine of S$20,000, or both, for giving false or misleading information with regard to a blood donation.

Top photo by Wheeler Cowperthwaite via Flickr