An HIV positive man who knowingly spread the virus to four women has complained his human rights have been violated because the jail where he is held has made errors in his medication.
Charles Mzite, of Vancouver, had sex with four women and failed to tell them he had HIV. In some cases he lied and told them he didn’t have the virus.
He was convicted of aggravated sexual assaulted by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in March 2009, eight years after he moved to Canada from Zimbabwe. At least one of the women is now HIV positive.
Mzite has since launched a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, claiming his treatment regime was interrupted 36 times while he was at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.
He was moved to a federal institution after being convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
During his time in remand starting in September 2007, Mzite claims there were numerous interruptions in his treatment, despite protests from his doctor and lawyer that he was on a strict regime.
‘In July 2008, the doctor noted that Mr. Mzite’s viral load had increased,’ tribunal member Marlene Tyshynski said in her ruling.
he tribunal heard that the doctor wrote to the correctional centre and explained the necessity of providing Mzite with uninterrupted medication and the potential harmful consequences of not doing so.
‘I would like to state clearly that it is of utmost importance that this gentleman not miss any of his medications on a daily basis,’ the doctor wrote.
‘The result of doing so would simply lead to development of resistance to therapy, potential deterioration of his immune system and development of opportunistic infections.
Even though the complaint was filed a year and a half after the normal deadline to launch a human rights complaint, the tribunal agreed to hear the case, saying it raises important issues around a vulnerable person.
The tribunal heard Mzite filed his complaint late because he was afraid of retaliation, he was dependent on the prison putting him in a vulnerable position and he couldn’t afford to jeopardize his access to health care.
‘The issues raised in this complaint have broad and significant ramifications for the health of Canadians in general and the dignity of health of prisoners specifically,’ Mzite’s submission to the tribunal said.
The lawyer for the B.C. government argued the complaints date back to 2007 and it would be difficult to go back that far.
The government also said the medical health service provider at the jail was changed in April last year, further complicating the problem.
But Tyshynski overruled the argument.
‘Mr Mzite’s complaint raises a novel issue by a uniquely-positioned and very vulnerable individual, that is, a prisoner who is HIV positive and reliant on (jail) staff for medication,’ she wrote in her ruling.
‘I agree that this complaint offers the tribunal a rare opportunity to address this novel and serious allegation.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2110808/HIV-positive-man-knowingly-spread-virus-claims-human-rights-violated.html#ixzz1oMo5ShSs
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