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Ontario Appeal Court overturns HIV disclosure cases

TORONTO - Ontario's highest court has overturned sex assault convictions in the cases of two HIV-positive men in light of clarified rules on disclosure from the Supreme Court.

Lester Felix was convicted in 2010 of five counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of sexual assault after having sex with two women and not telling them he was HIV-positive.

Yonatan Mekonnen was convicted in 2009 of two counts of aggravated sexual assault in relation to two different women for not disclosing his HIV-positive status.

Both men argued their convictions should be overturned in light of a landmark ruling last year from the Supreme Court of Canada about HIV disclosure.

The high court ruled that people with HIV do not have to inform sexual partners of their status as long as they have a low viral load and they wear a condom.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario ordered a new trial for Felix only on the sexual assault count and stayed Mekonnen's convictions.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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