Skip to content

Scottish court convicts man for passing on HIV

February 9, 2007

An Italian man, Giovanni Mola, 38, was convicted in Glasgow High Court yesterday of deliberately passing on HIV to his lover. Mola worked as a chef in Edinburgh, and apparently knowingly passed on the virus to his girlfriend, named Ms Y by the media to protect her identity.

It’s all over the press how ‘evil’ and ‘insane’ Mola is, and a former associate indulged in some nauseating character assassination in an article in The Scotsman newspaper.

‘Far from being the humane, cultured man he liked to portray himself as, he was some kind of psychopath’, says Clair Smith, who goes on to say how lucky Mola was to be accepted as an equal with her sophisticated and cosmopolitan friends.

She rages at how her friend, a 23-year old virgin, was ‘seduced’ by a wicked Latin who infected her with HIV.

Och, the puir wee lassie!

For goodness sake. She had a five month relationship with the guy, and they had consensual sex. We all need to take resposibility for our own sexual health. If you are HIV postive, I believe you have an ethical responsibility to tell your partner before you have sex, and Mola seems to have failed in that. But we also all have a responsibility to protect ourselves, and by now, in a Western country, 20 years after HIV was discoverd, people really should know better than to have unprotected sex and cry foul when they catch something.

It’s also all over the press about how puir wee Ms Y feels like she’s been handed a death sentence. Having the words ‘HIV’ and ‘death sentence’ in a headline is really bad practice and irresponsible journalism. Ms Y lives in an advanced Western country with free health care. She should be worrying about her pension when she retires, not about dying from HIV.

People also seem to forget that Mola is a victim too, and that some one gave the virus to him. We know nothing about his state, but given the stigma that exists around HIV, it probably wasn’t healthy and he was probably in some kind of extreme denial.

This kind of ignorant judgement only serves to further isolate people with HIV.

Even more disturbing are the reactionary comments under the article, with the punters lapping it up and calling for castration, execution and for people with HIV to be rounded up and kept in concentration camps,

Only a few of the comments actually manage to unpick some of the bigoted nonsense associated with the case.

As JGM of Cowdenbeath says:

“What a load of p*sh. Ever so slightly racist, but in a well bred, humane way of course, all these intellectual airheaded snobs getting a frisson of risque sexual delight at being in the proximity of a ‘nice bit of rough’ who gave it dirty! Now they can all feel good about themselves that they have somehow, helped to ease a little bit of the world’s pain, and remove the untrustworthy Johnny Foreigner out of the reach of nice clean Briitish gels, don’t ye know!”

What’s next? Jail for getting on the tube when you know you have the ‘flu?

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2007 7:44 am

    Maybe character assassination should be avoided but he has really screwed up someone’s life when he should have known better.

    He should take some personal responsibility and serve his sentence.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2007 7:44 am

    Maybe character assassination should be avoided but he has really screwed up someone’s life when he should have known better.He should take some personal responsibility and serve his sentence.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    March 3, 2007 12:41 am

    Thought I’d share some personal insights. I knew Giovanni in the midst of this though I didn’t know i was in the midst.

    Your comment “and apparently knowingly passed on the virus to his girlfriend” i have a problem with since it was reported he admitted knowing he had HIV and Hep C since 2001 and it was confirmed by the clinincs he was being treated.

    I agree that the reporting seems to be at times pandering to the drama. But you have to remember that he has HIV and Hep C both of which I believe she contracted. Hep being far more difficult to control so her flipping out is understandable. They could have added some sort of info on HIV treatment but the issue is his disregard and spreading it. It isn’t a case of a man in a loving realtionship who contracted it through a blood donation and then unwittingly gave it to his lover.

    That aside he also had sex with another woman who came forward, he didn’t tell her either adn he certainly knew by the time we were together since , as I later came to find out, he was with me after he first was charged. He left for Italy with no indication anything of this magnitude was going on. During email contact he admitted he was in some trouble with the Italian authorities but it amounted to house arrest for possession of pot. In actuality it was for armed robbery, extortion and aggrevated assault. After I went to see him in Italy his denial was fully entrenched, none of the reality was given to me by him.

    Whether he did this out of malice and bitterness that he was positive or denial and inability to deal with it is moot. He did it repeatedly just of the people I know of let alone and that was since 2004 he knew he was infected since 2001. We are all responsible for our own protection far as we can have that control as we are responsible for not actively harming others.

    Some of the facets of his character combined with the whole of this situation makes me wonder about his mental state yes. More than simply he was down and going through some existential turmoil that drove him to church as he said.

    I am fine myself luckily but if that hadn’t been the case I’d be as angry and blame myself as much as I would him. I was trusting that someone I was emotionally connected to wouldn’t betray me in this way, I was also careless in my self protection. But I didn’t do these things knowing he was infected, he did them knowing he was infected.

    This girl seems highly naive and sheltered. And that she testified he agrily refused to wear a condom and she…still slept with him for five months. What the …

    I don’t see any slander in the editorials from the people who knew him. They wrote about how they thought of him and their times with him before this all came to light and that they were surprised and felt they were deceived. Maybe I missed something I am working from memory of the articles.

    I’d disagree that any of it was ignorant judgement as you wrote. We aren’t ignorant as to whether he had it, whether he slept with her knowing that, and not telling her of his circumstance but he judgement is there and rightly so. We have to judge to punish, prevent further infection by him this is what the court system is. Judgement as to whether he is evil or the like no. I suppose noone can know the depths of another or what one may do if all the circumstances were your own.

    Comparing the willful spread of HIV and Hep to the flu may be an exaggeration to prove a point which I do often but. ehem…it would be similar if someone went to a country where the medical supplies and knowledge were limited and stuck people with a needle filled with a virus that would in the end kill you. People don’t get over HIV unless I Missed something.
    That’s my take.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    March 3, 2007 12:41 am

    Thought I’d share some personal insights. I knew Giovanni in the midst of this though I didn’t know i was in the midst. Your comment “and apparently knowingly passed on the virus to his girlfriend” i have a problem with since it was reported he admitted knowing he had HIV and Hep C since 2001 and it was confirmed by the clinincs he was being treated.I agree that the reporting seems to be at times pandering to the drama. But you have to remember that he has HIV and Hep C both of which I believe she contracted. Hep being far more difficult to control so her flipping out is understandable. They could have added some sort of info on HIV treatment but the issue is his disregard and spreading it. It isn’t a case of a man in a loving realtionship who contracted it through a blood donation and then unwittingly gave it to his lover. That aside he also had sex with another woman who came forward, he didn’t tell her either adn he certainly knew by the time we were together since , as I later came to find out, he was with me after he first was charged. He left for Italy with no indication anything of this magnitude was going on. During email contact he admitted he was in some trouble with the Italian authorities but it amounted to house arrest for possession of pot. In actuality it was for armed robbery, extortion and aggrevated assault. After I went to see him in Italy his denial was fully entrenched, none of the reality was given to me by him.Whether he did this out of malice and bitterness that he was positive or denial and inability to deal with it is moot. He did it repeatedly just of the people I know of let alone and that was since 2004 he knew he was infected since 2001. We are all responsible for our own protection far as we can have that control as we are responsible for not actively harming others. Some of the facets of his character combined with the whole of this situation makes me wonder about his mental state yes. More than simply he was down and going through some existential turmoil that drove him to church as he said. I am fine myself luckily but if that hadn’t been the case I’d be as angry and blame myself as much as I would him. I was trusting that someone I was emotionally connected to wouldn’t betray me in this way, I was also careless in my self protection. But I didn’t do these things knowing he was infected, he did them knowing he was infected. This girl seems highly naive and sheltered. And that she testified he agrily refused to wear a condom and she…still slept with him for five months. What the …I don’t see any slander in the editorials from the people who knew him. They wrote about how they thought of him and their times with him before this all came to light and that they were surprised and felt they were deceived. Maybe I missed something I am working from memory of the articles.I’d disagree that any of it was ignorant judgement as you wrote. We aren’t ignorant as to whether he had it, whether he slept with her knowing that, and not telling her of his circumstance but he judgement is there and rightly so. We have to judge to punish, prevent further infection by him this is what the court system is. Judgement as to whether he is evil or the like no. I suppose noone can know the depths of another or what one may do if all the circumstances were your own.Comparing the willful spread of HIV and Hep to the flu may be an exaggeration to prove a point which I do often but. ehem…it would be similar if someone went to a country where the medical supplies and knowledge were limited and stuck people with a needle filled with a virus that would in the end kill you. People don’t get over HIV unless I Missed something.That’s my take.

  5. Walton permalink
    March 13, 2007 3:49 pm

    Thanks for your comment. It adds a lot to have the perspective of some one who actually knows the people involved.

    I wasn’t trying to exonerate Mola, who seems to have behaved terribly, but to point out that making Ms Y a ‘victim’ is terribly dishonest, disempowering to her as a woman, and sets back the struggle against HIV-Aids.

    In Africa (where I am from), people get infected by their partners all the time, often in worse circumstances than these.

    What happened to Ms Y is terrible, but playing the blame game helps no one. If you test positive you need to take a serious look at how you’re going to live your life, and build up a decent support network.

    People endanger each others lives all the time, through unsafe working practices, talking on a mobile while driving and so on. This is rightly condemned, but not with nearly the same amount of hysteria as Mola, who passed on a disease.

    Whether you die in a traffic accident or from Aids, you’re just as dead, so why the special vitriol reserved for Mola and other carries of the Plague?

    It’s this stigma which hurts efforts to fight the disease, because people are afriad that if they get tested they’ll be socially ostracised.

    And comparing this case to deliberately spreading flu wasn’t flippant: what’s going to happen to our freedom if bird flu ever hits? The South African government is already talking about forceably detaining people with some strains of TB.

    I still think it was a very irresponsible judgement, bad reporting, and unattractive mob hysteria from the Scottish public.

  6. Walton permalink
    March 13, 2007 3:49 pm

    Thanks for your comment. It adds a lot to have the perspective of some one who actually knows the people involved.I wasn’t trying to exonerate Mola, who seems to have behaved terribly, but to point out that making Ms Y a ‘victim’ is terribly dishonest, disempowering to her as a woman, and sets back the struggle against HIV-Aids.In Africa (where I am from), people get infected by their partners all the time, often in worse circumstances than these. What happened to Ms Y is terrible, but playing the blame game helps no one. If you test positive you need to take a serious look at how you’re going to live your life, and build up a decent support network.People endanger each others lives all the time, through unsafe working practices, talking on a mobile while driving and so on. This is rightly condemned, but not with nearly the same amount of hysteria as Mola, who passed on a disease. Whether you die in a traffic accident or from Aids, you’re just as dead, so why the special vitriol reserved for Mola and other carries of the Plague?It’s this stigma which hurts efforts to fight the disease, because people are afriad that if they get tested they’ll be socially ostracised.And comparing this case to deliberately spreading flu wasn’t flippant: what’s going to happen to our freedom if bird flu ever hits? The South African government is already talking about forceably detaining people with some strains of TB.I still think it was a very irresponsible judgement, bad reporting, and unattractive mob hysteria from the Scottish public.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: