HIV-positive man in S'pore charged after declaring false sexual history during blood donation

He claimed that he did not think that the term "sex" included oral sex.

Syahindah Ishak | March 03, 2021, 11:46 PM

A 37-year-old man in Singapore had gone to Bloodbank@HSA on May 3, 2020, claiming that he wanted to donate blood to help increase supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by CNA.

He had allegedly declared that he had never had sex with another man before.

However, the man, who cannot be named due to a gag order protecting his identity, later told a doctor that he has had unprotected oral sex with a man on a bus in India in 2017.

Judge rejected his guilty plea

In February 2021, the man was charged under the Infectious Diseases Act for supplying false information linked to a blood donation.

CNA reported that he went to court on Wednesday (March 3) intending to plead guilty.

However, the judge rejected his guilty plea as the man had maintained he did not knowingly supply false information since he did not know that oral sex was considered sex at the time.

The prosecution has asked for at least three months' jail and a fine of S$10,000.

However, the prosecutors acknowledged that the man had admitted to the offence after being asked by the doctor.

For supplying false information relating to a blood donation, he could be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$20,000, or both.

He will return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial conference.

Did not know "sex" included oral sex

According to CNA, the man claimed he did not think that the term "sex" included oral sex.

His blood was not used after it ended up testing positive for HIV.

A doctor had subsequently explained to him that oral sex is considered sex.

The man then immediately told the doctor the truth about his sexual history.

"I didn't want to hurt anyone"

According to CNA, the man is a foreigner and was unrepresented during his court hearing.

He had come to court with a luggage as he told the court that he was ready to go to jail.

He had reportedly lost his job eight months ago and can no longer work in Singapore, as reported by CNA.

He told the judge that he had spent all his savings and has only S$250 left for rent or food.

As he is now a HIV patient, he explained that he cannot afford treatment as foreigners do not get subsidies.

The man added that he has six dependents in his home country, and he is the sole breadwinner for them.

He said, as reported by CNA:

"Once I came to know about this, I was so depressed (over) the severity of the disease.

Now I'm suffering from this disease. If it (had) been transfused to someone else, they will also be (suffering).

I didn't want to hurt anyone, or release spread of this disease or anything.

I wanted to in fact help the country during the pandemic, during the crisis. When I went, it was during Covid time and the blood supply was very (little)."

Top image from Singapore Red Cross/FB for illustration purposes only.