Bizarre Dutch case
May 30, 2007
Dear Dr. Young,
Dutch guy here again. Today there was shocking news in the Dutch media (I don't know if you've heard about it):
Two 48 yo men from the village of Slochteren and a 33yo man from Groningen are suspected to have sedated at least five men so that they could be sexually abused.
The suspects have declared that they have infected the men, also by injecting their own infected blood, for their own kick. Besides that they claim that unprotected sex is pure.
The Dutch HIV specialist and researcher prof. S. Danner has declared that he regards this as an act of murder. According to his opinion in most of the cases HIV leads to death. He claims that people think way too easy about treatment and medicines. As long as we don't know the long term effects of the meds and as long as people still are dying of aids (even though they have access to treatment) HIV still must be regarded as a deadly disease because on the long run these victims will die of it.
This professor Danner is a well respected hiv researcher in the Netherlands. But what he states seems contradictionary to your beliefs and this worries me a lot. How do you regard his words?
greet from Holland from Dutch guy
Response from Dr. Young
Good to hear from you.
I've not heard of this case or Professor Danner's comments, but I'd agree that this is a very bizzare and aggregious act. I personally wouldn't categorize this as murder, but at the least attempted, premeditated murder. Untreated HIV is a deadly disease, the act(s) wouldn't need to account for the possibility of treatment to measure the seriousness of the act.
So, I don't find this contradictory at all- the deliberate passage of HIV should not be taken lightly. Without treatment, these infected individuals will very likely die of HIV complications. I differ in so much as "in the long run", if these infected persons have access to care and medications, that they need not die of their complications. This later difference has little to do with the legal case, as the Professor was discussing, but rather to do with the long-term prognosis of persons in care.
Hope this helps. BY
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