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Man who had unprotected sex with four women says Wilkinson Road jail unfair to inmates with HIV

Mar 08 2012

A former Victoria resident who was convicted in 2009 for knowingly exposing women to HIV says HIV-positive criminals are victims of systemic discrimination in B.C. prisons.

Zimbabwe native Charles Kokanai Mzite, 40, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted on four counts of aggravated sexual assault for having unprotected sex with four women without informing them he carried the virus that causes AIDS.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled adjudicators will hear Mzite's complaint that he was discriminated against while jailed in the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (also known as the Wilkinson Road jail) between September 2007 and April 2009.

Mzite, now in a federal prison, says B.C. prison officials failed to provide his antiretroviral medication consistently, and that other HIV-positive prisoners at the centre have faced the same problems.

At his trial, it came to light that Mzite tested positive for HIV in 2001, not long after he had moved to Victoria, but did not tell any of the women he dated about his status. If they asked, he told them he had tested negative for the virus.

Mzite was involved in the African music scene in Victoria and met the women through the community of singers and dancers.

They all said they would never have had unprotected sex with him if he had been honest with them.

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