Aids counsellor wants justice

2011-12-03 00:00

NOT only does Cindy Pivacic have a firm control of her HIV status, but she wants her final justice when she takes the man who infected her to court.

Pivacic, who runs a non-profit support group, recently discovered that her former partner was responsible for infecting at least five women. This became apparent to her via her support group and investigations she had conducted.

The man allegedly responsible is known to The Witness.

“I have already consulted an attorney and he has agreed to take the matter pro bono — that man will not get away with it,” she said.

Pivacic said there are women whom he had infected before he had infected her and others afterward.

“He was definitely aware of his status and I am going to prove that in court,” she said.

Pivacic was infected six years ago and had to endure several associated diseases, including shingles, pneumonia, two strokes and a form of cancer.

“I’ll never forget when I had to take him to hospital and it was discovered that he was positive. My heart sank and I thought that it was the end of the world,” she recalled.

“But now it’s actually quite laughable. I’m healthier than most of the people in this coffee shop,” she said.

Through her support group AID My Journey, she offers counselling and guidance for people infected and affected by the disease, and she says it has been an incredible journey.

Pivacic feels the government does not do enough to help people living with Aids and that creating awareness is simply not enough.

“There is this “Get Tested” campaign, but what after that?

“Aids knows no boundaries. We need to tell people that it’s okay to be positive and it’s not the end of the world, but more importantly we need to respect their privacy if it’s what they want,” she said, referring to state-aided hospitals that line Aids patients up in separate queues to collect their medication.

“Knowing your status and not disclosing it to a potential sexual partner is akin to murder,” she said, and it should be treated as such.

Deciding if someone has intentionally, recklessly or accidentally transmitted HIV, according to website www.avert.org, is not simple, but Pivacic is adamant that she will the matter all the way.

The website states, “The divisions between each of the three categories can be very blurred, and depend largely on individual interpretation. Even after a decision has been made on what grounds to prosecute, a court may still have a hard time deciding whether to find someone guilty or not.”

AID My Journey’s website is www.cindypivacic.co.za and Pivacic encourages all interested people to visit it.

• rowan.sewchurrran@witness.co.za

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