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Watch: Victims of Man Who Deliberately Infected Others with HIV Speak Out in New Doc

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Mar 18, 2019

The victims of a British man who deliberately infected five others with HIV — and attempted to infect even more unwitting partners — has a new documentary named for him, but the doc doesn't just focus on his vicious campaign to spread the virus. His victims appear in the film, too, and they share their stories.

As reported 2017, Daryll Rowe, a hairdresser from Edinburgh, Scotland, was arrested and charged with deliberately exposing ten men he had met on Grindr with HIV. In April of last year, Rowe was convicted on five counts each of gross bodily harm and attempted gross bodily harm, making him the first man in Britain to be so convicted. Rowe was sentenced to life in prison.

The new documentary, which is titled "The Man Who Used HIV as a Weapon," was aired on BBC Three. UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported on the new doc, which in which several of Rowe's victims speak out.

Among them is an American named Lenny, who related how, after they met, Rowe became "possessive," the Daily Mail reported, and eventually became abusive. In a clip from the film, Lenny describes having tried to cut off contact with Rowe, only to be contacted once again by Rowe and told that Rose had damaged a condom deliberately in order to transmit the virus.

"How dare you block me...stupid American," Lenny recalled Rowe telling him over the phone. "You can't get rid of me. You're going to burn. I ripped the condom. You're stupid. I got you.' "

Lenny went on to say, "It was about two weeks after Daryll contacted me I got really sick."

Another of Rowe's victims described how he went to a clinic and heard that several other men had reported having had sex with the Scottish man. Health authorities eventually put out a public health warning, the Daily Mail recalled.

An article at the BBC website offered more snippets, including Lenny wondering aloud, "How can somebody be so cruel?"

Another man, Stuart, shared how Lowe sent him an emoji-laced message reading, "Ha He Ha Ha. I'd taken the condom off."

To another man, Andrew, Lowe sent the message: "I hoe you enjoyed four of my loads. I have HIV," the BBC site reported.

The BBC article also shows text messages that Rowe sent that mock his victims and announce ho he infected them. The texts include laughing and thumbs-up emoticons.

Rowe himself participated in the documentary by phone, saying that he had been so shaken by his own diagnosis that he became convinced he would be cured by "urine therapy," reported UK newspaper the Daily Express. He also extended his apologies to his victims, calling his conduct "naïve and reckless."

"The main thing is that I hope they can forgive me one day and they can try and live a happy life and put this behind them," Rowe said

Watch a snippet from the BBC Three video below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • John Ellis, 2019-03-19 21:41:31

    Typos. Why?!

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