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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 14:06 GMT
HIV man 'given safe sex warning'
Glasgow High Court
The trial is at the High Court in Glasgow
A man accused of infecting a girlfriend with HIV was given advice about safe sex before and after he was told he had the condition, a court has heard.

Stephen Kelly, 33, of Provanmill, Glasgow, was told by a nurse that he had the virus and that he must have safe sex to avoid passing the infection to his partners.

Kelly denies a charge of culpable and reckless conduct that knowing or believing he was HIV positive he had sexual intercourse with Anne Craig at various addresses between December 1993 and March 1994.

It is alleged that over the period in question Kelly culpably and recklessly and with total disregard for the consequences, repeatedly had sex with Miss Craig whereby she became infected with the virus.

My understanding is that he was heterosexually active and planned to be heterosexually active in the future. We discussed safe sex techniques and how to go about them

Anne Thompson
The charge states that it was to her permanent impairment, the danger of her health and to the danger of her life.

At the High Court in Glasgow, on Wednesday, nurse Anne Thompson, 41, said she had spoken to Kelly of the dangers of having unsafe sex both before and after he tested HIV positive.

Miss Thompson was a member of a team from Ruchill Hospital in Glasgow sent to Glenochil Prison, Stirlingshire, in 1993 to counsel prisoners who believed they may have contracted HIV through sharing dirty needles.

She told the court she had met Kelly twice for a "pre-testing counselling session" and then to tell him the result of his test.

"Stephen's results had come back with a positive for HIV so I was expecting to have to give him that news," she told James Drummond Young QC, prosecuting.

'Harm reduction'

"I spoke to him about the result of his test, what it would mean and what could happen afterwards.

"It was a very difficult situation as Stephen had just returned from the funeral of his wife so he appeared quite shocked at the time as well."

She also explained that she had counselled Kelly ahead of his test results.

Miss Thompson said: "The whole point of pre-test counselling is harm reduction.

"We are trying to help people change their behaviour so they will avoid risk to others.

Stephen Kelly
Stephen Kelly denies the charges
"They were told about safe sexual behaviour and safe drug use, particular intravenous drug use."

Miss Thompson described this as a "most crucial" part of counselling and said conversations were intimate.

She also said a prisoner would be asked about what sexual activity he took part in and whether he would be sexually active after his release.

Prisoners would also be told how to act safely to protect against the infection of HIV, she added.

Mr Drummond Young asked: "Did he inform you about his sexual behaviour?"

Miss Thompson replied: "My understanding is that he was heterosexually active and planned to be heterosexually active in the future. We discussed safe sex techniques and how to go about them."

Asked if Kelly said anything about his future intentions, she replied: "He said he would receive further support and tell family and friends about what mattered.

'High-risk situation'

"I told him about safe sex and what that would mean in the future for his partners."

When questioned by Donald Findlay QC, representing Kelly, about how he reacted to news of his infection, Miss Thompson said: "I sensed that it was not unexpected as we had established at our pre-test session that he may be in a high-risk situation."

When Mr Findlay asked her if in fact his client had been "optimistic" before he heard the news, she said: "That was not my recollection."

"I found Stephen to be intelligent and when he spoke about it (HIV) there was a sense of resignation and that it was not an unexpected result," she added.

In response to a question from Mr Findlay on whether his client would have been "secretive" about his condition, Miss Thompson said: "I found him to be intelligent around the issue of people needing to know."

Miss Thompson said she also met with Kelly after his release and visited his home where she met his mother and a young woman.

The trial before Lord Mackay of Drumadoon continues.

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13 Feb 01 | Scotland
HIV 'infection' trial begins
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