Compensation for Genital Herpes?

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29 July 2014
Is it possible to claim some kind of compensation for contracting genital herpes (HSV-2) from a past partner that knew they had it but failed to inform you?


Hi Jessazdill,

Claims of this type for genital herpes are not that common in Australia, although information published by several state governments suggests that knowing transmission of a life threatening disease such as AIDS to an unknowing partner can constitute attempted or actual grievous bodily harm - leading to criminal liability.

I don't know what the police would say if you told them you wanted to make a complaint against someone for 'assault' or GBH.

I doubt that herpes would amount to GBH. It may be assault but I have never heard of anyone getting up on this argument. The definition of assault is:
(1) A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person's consent, or with the other person's consent if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the other person's consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person's purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault.

(2) In this section
"applies force" includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.

There is probably also recourse in civil law against the perpetrator, however it will likely cost more than what you would get out of it.
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