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August 31, 2009

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Male prostitute charged over spread of AIDS

A HOMOSEXUAL prostitute has been charged with having unprotected sex while knowing he had AIDS.

Shanghai prosecutors said over the weekend that it was an unusual case in a gray area of the law.

The man has been charged with knowingly spreading a sexually transmitted disease.

The Jiangxi Province native, identified by his surname of Zhang, became the first suspect to face this kind of charge in the city this year, according to Huangpu District prosecutors.

Late on the night of April 10, Zhang, 32, was "lingering" in a downtown green area, police told prosecutors.

When a middle-aged man stopped, he and Zhang spoke for a while before agreeing to have sex. The two then went to a secluded area.

There they became involved in a heated argument over the fee for sex, attracting attention from several police officers who were patrolling nearby.

The officers took both of them to a police station.

The men told police they had sex but disagreed over Zhang's asking price.

Zhang was sent for a medical examination where it was established that he was suffering from AIDS.

Zhang admitted he had known about his condition.

He said he was caught for gay prostitution in February and tested positive for AIDS at that time.

However he continued to work as a prostitute, prosecutors said.

"I didn't think much about the consequences ... I just wanted excitement," Zhang told them.

The condition of Zhang's client was not revealed.

Lu Qinjian, a prosecutor of Minhang District Prosecutors' Office, said criminal cases involving homosexuals were rare in the city. He stressed that while homosexuality was legal, any form of prostitution was not.

Homosexuals were either criminals or victims in such cases, Lu said.

They would not be discriminated against or insulted and would be fairly treated according to the law, Lu said.

Their privacy would also be well protected, he added.

In addition to spreading sexually transmitted diseases, other criminal cases involving homosexuals include domestic violence, extortion and prostitution, according to prosecutors.

Minhang District Prosecutors' Office charged Cheng Mingzhe, a 22-year-old Fujian Province native, with murder last December in a gay-related crime.

Cheng was hired by a man surnamed Chen as an amateur actor last October. Cheng was soon forced to have sex with his boss. When Chen asked to have sex again on November 1, 2008, Cheng stabbed him to death.

Jing'an District People's Court sentenced a man surnamed Li to eight months' jail for extortion in June, 2008.

Li met a man surnamed Lei online and they began a sexual relationship.

Li asked to borrow 50,000 yuan (US$7,320) from Lei but was refused.

Li then extorted 50,000 yuan from Lei, threatening to "out" him as a homosexual.


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