Woman gets ACC for HIV post-traumatic stress

02:20, Mar 12 2012

In a precedent-setting decision, a woman has won her battle to get ACC compensation for post traumatic stress disorder triggered by finding out her lover was HIV positive.

The Court of Appeal found the woman's consent to sleep with the man was invalid because she didn't know he had the virus that causes Aids.

Therefore, she was sexually violated and qualified for ACC cover.

The written decision, released today, sets a precedent for people who unwittingly sleep with HIV-positive people to be covered by ACC for mental injury.

A mutual friend told the woman her sexual partner was HIV positive after four months of unprotected sex in 2004.

She suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and lost her job because of the time she had off work.

After a six-month wait, her HIV tests results came back negative.

The woman, whose name is suppressed, has been fighting for six years to reverse ACC's refusal to cover her mental injury.

The woman's lover, Justin Dalley, was convicted of criminal nuisance. Under ACC rules, a victim of this crime does not qualify for cover.

However, someone hurt having sex, or even committing a rape, would get accident compensation cover, the women's lawyer John Miller told the court last year.

In 2005, Dalley was sentenced to pay the woman $1000 towards her counselling and other costs, as well as 300 hours' community work and six months' supervision.