Authorities fear at least 12 women may have been deliberately infected with the HIV virus by a Zimbabwe-born circus acrobat.
Australian citizen Godfrey Zaburoni, 31, appeared in a Sydney court today for an extradition hearing and is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young this afternoon urged any women who had had unprotected sex with Mr Zaburoni to seek medical attention.
“We’re aware this gentleman has HIV and we understand he’s had unprotected sex with quite a number of women across the country, so I’m here today to ask any women who have had unprotected sex with this man to come forward and be tested,” she said.
Dr Young said Mr Zaburoni had given Queensland Health staff the names of 12 women with whom he had had unprotected sex.
She said seven of those were in Queensland, with the rest in New South Wales and Victoria.
“Unfortunately, he couldn’t give enough detail so we could contact those women directly,” Dr Young said.
“Any woman, anywhere in the country, who has had unprotected sex with this man should go and get themselves tested.”
Dr Young said Mr Zaburoni had performed with “quite a range” of circuses.
Queensland Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Col McCallum said Mr Zaburoni, who has been HIV positive since 1997, would face two charges relating to transmitting a serious disease.
Mr McCallum said Mr Zaburoni was charged after one woman came forward to Gold Coast police.
“We received a complaint from a female in relation to her health and we progressed the investigation from that,” he said.
“It is [an unusual case] – we’ve only had one before where a person was convicted for the offence.”
Mr McCallum said it was thought all the women who had com