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Rome HIV man ‘infected 29 women’

A 31-year-old man from Rome allegedly passed on the HIV virus to 29 women after having unprotected sex without telling them he had the disease.

Rome HIV man 'infected 29 women'
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

The man was arrested in early December and kept in custody after it emerged that six women, who he had sex with between 2006 and 2009, had been infected with the virus.

That figure has since risen to 29 after more women came forward to be tested, Il Messaggero reported. Ten previous sexual partners, however, tested negative for the virus.

Those infected were aged between 20 and 30, the newspaper said.

The man, called Valentino, faces charges of “grievous and incurable bodily harm” against the women, who he allegedly asked to forgo using a condom during sexual intercourse despite knowing he was HIV positive, prosecutors said.

He is alleged to have met some of the women through social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp, occasionally proposing threesomes.

“The women were there, some responded straightaway…I didn’t force anyone, they were up for it too,” he told Corriere in early December, adding that it was akin to a game of Russian roulette.

“Sometimes it goes wrong, but most often not. I lived with some of these women – we were in love, we had breakfast together in the morning, why should I have hurt them?”

Some 3,695 people in Italy were diagnosed with HIV in 2014, a number which had seen little change over the three previous years.

Most of the new diagnoses were among 25 to 29-year-olds, who mostly became infected after not using a condom during sex, the report from Italy’s higher institute of health (ISS) said. 

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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