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Complainant Name:
National AIDS Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail

Complaint:

The National AIDS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust complained, on behalf of Nkosinati Mabanda, to the Press Complaints Commission that the assertion in the headline of the online article that Mr Mabanda was a "HIV Monster" represented a pejorative reference to his status as HIV positive. It established an association between being HIV positive and acting as a "monster". The organisations were further concerned by the assertion that Mr Mabanda had "knowingly" passed on HIV - this was not possible as HIV transmission was not an automatic consequence of unprotected sex.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper altered the headline to read: "Monster who infected woman with HIV virus and had unprotected sex with seven others is jailed". It also removed the term "knowingly" from its opening paragraph. While the National AIDS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust maintained that the phrase "HIV Monster" was a breach of Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Code, it accepted the actions taken by the newspaper as a suitable resolution to the complaint.

Date Published: 30/09/2011



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