British Woman Infected By Man Who Knew He Had HIV Awarded ‘Record’ $32,000 in Damages
The British Criminal Injuries Compensation Board on Saturday awarded a "record" $32,000 in damages to a woman who was infected with HIV by a man who knew he had the virus, but the board rescinded a quarter of the judgment because she was "negligent with her own safety" by engaging in unprotected sex, the Sunday Mail reports. In the first government compensation award given under new legislation passed earlier this year for "victims" of HIV/AIDS, the board awarded Anne Craig the maximum $29,000 for her injuries and disablement and an additional $2,900 for "mental anguish," but withheld $8,000 because she did not use a condom during sex. Stephen Kelly, who earlier this year became the first person in Great Britain to be convicted of "recklessly" transmitting HIV, repeatedly had unprotected sex with Craig over a six-month period, despite knowing that he had HIV, and lied to Craig when she inquired about his disease status. He is currently serving five years in prison. Craig said she was "disappointed" by the board's decision, adding that she did not "need to be told again how stupid and naive" she was to have unprotected sex with Kelly, a former drug user, who she said also has hepatitis C. "I've already payed a huge price for what's happened to me and now I'm paying again," she said, adding that the court battle was "never about money. I wanted justice and I got that in court when Stephen was convicted." Tricia Marwick, a member of the Scottish Parliament, called the CICB decision "outrageous," adding that the board was acting "as a second judge and jury in this case." She explained that the "responsibility was on [Kelly], not [Craig]" because he knew of his HIV status and lied to Craig about being HIV-positive. However, law professor Robert Black said that the CICB applied civil principles to the case, explaining, "If the injured person contributed to their injuries then that, under current law, must be taken into account. It's called contributory negligence." Craig's lawyer said she will not appeal the decision because she "wants this whole ordeal to be over and to get on with the rest of her life" (Hughes, Sunday Mail, 11/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.