A 35-year-old who is HIV positive has been arrested in Ancona, Italy, Claudio Pinti was diagnosed with the virus about 11 years ago. According to reports he consciously passed on the virus to more than 200 sexual partners.
According to a police spokesman in Ancona, a city on Italy’s eastern Adriatic coast, The police officer told dpa on Thursday that 35-year-old Claudio Pinti was arrested two days earlier.
Despite having been diagnosed “for at least 11 years,’’ he did not take precautions nor warn his partners about his condition, Ancona police said in a written statement.
When officers apprehended him, Pinti declared himself a “negationist’’ on the existence of HIV, police said.
The virus is known to cause AIDS.
According to a report on Punch News, In a press conference on Wednesday, police said Pinti was a regular user of dating websites and might have infected more than 200 people.
He was caught after one of his most recent partners checked herself into the hospital after feeling ill and discovered she had contracted the virus.
Authorities urged potential victims to contact police, and in a breach of usual practice, released a picture of the suspect so people could recognize him.
The police spokesman said several calls have come in and are being verified.
“People are very reluctant to come forward because of the shame,’’ he said.
Thanks to medical advances, life expectancy for HIV and AIDS patients has greatly increased in recent years, but the disease still killed one million people in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation.
In a similar case in 2017, a Rome court sentenced a man to 24 years’ imprisonment for infecting more than 30 people with HIV, including a pregnant woman who passed on the disease to her son.
Since the arrival of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Italy in the 1980s, 120,000 cases of people testing positive for HIV have been registered with the Ministry of Health. Since the 1980s, 58,400 diagnoses of AIDS have been recorded, of which 35,300 have resulted in mortality.