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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
SA husband loses HIV case
Aids patient in Lusaka hospice
Aids puts huge pressures onto families in Africa
A South African woman has been awarded more than $100,000 in damages from her husband for infecting her with the HIV virus.

In a landmark judgement, a High Court judge awarded the unnamed women $116,400 for "pain, suffering mental anguish, and medical expenses", the Sunday Times reported.

I was paralysed. I was shocked. I just looked at my husband and started crying. He just looked at me and said: 'sorry, sorry, sorry'

Aids wife victim
The ruling is the first in which a married woman has been awarded damages by a court in South Africa after being infected with the disease by her husband.

The couple who met in Mozambique in 1995 were married in 1998, but the wife says she did not know that her ill husband was HIV positive.

The woman who is now separated from her husband told the paper she found out about her husband's condition from a specialist who had carried out an operation on him.

'Must tell wives'

" I was paralysed. I was shocked. I just looked at my husband and started crying. He just looked at me and said 'sorry, sorry, sorry'."

The woman then learnt that her husband had known of his HIV status but had not told her of it.

South Africa aids damages
The wife needs money to pay for treatment
The wife who lives in Durban and has a young child, told the paper the man, who was her second husband, had stolen her life.

She said: "Husbands who are HIV positive or have Aids must tell their wives.

A Sunday Times journalist told the BBC's Network Africa programme the woman had remained celibate for 3 years and had taken an Aids test for insurance purposes.

The lawyer for the husband, who did not contest the case now, says he will appeal the historic judgement.

One in nine South Africans are infected with the HIV virus or the full blown disease.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 4.7 million South Africans are infected with HIV/Aids.

Gillian Ansyey , Sunday Times SA
She had remained celibate for 3 years
See also:

18 Aug 00 | Africa
Aids law in the dock
25 Jun 01 | Americas
UN opens landmark Aids debate
25 Jun 01 | Africa
How to spend Aids fund
25 Jun 01 | Americas
Annan demands Aids action
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