Posted on May 27, 2010

Search for ‘Hundreds’ of Acrobat’s Lovers

Ben Dillaway and Sue Lappeman, Gold Coast Bulletin (Molendinar, Queensland), May 27, 2010

A special taskforce will track down hundreds of women nationwide who may be infected with HIV after sleeping with acrobat Godfrey Zaburoni.

Some of the 18 concerned people who rang a Queensland Health hotline after the call was put out to find women who had unprotected sex with the HIV-positive Zimbabwean man, were men who had relationships with women he had slept with.

Others were the women themselves, and health authorities and police expect that number to rise, saying Mr Zaburoni could have infected hundreds.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said many some concerned people may have opted to go straight to their own doctor for testing.

Those who did call the 13HEALTH number after the national appeal was launched yesterday were referred to the Queensland Health Aids unit.

Authorities yesterday renewed their appeal for Mr Zaburoni’s sexual partners to come forward as he fronted court on two charges of grievous bodily harm and malicious acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm, after a woman who tested positive to HIV made a complaint against him.

Police allege Mr Zaburoni, 32, had given them the names of 12 other women he said he had sex with.

At least five are from NSW, including the former Australia’s Got Talent contestant’s girlfriend, who is said to be in shock.

But Regional Crime Co-ordinator Detective Superintendent Dave Hutchinson admits the number of sexual partners Mr Zaburoni had since moving to Australia in 1997 could be higher.

When asked if the number could be in the hundreds Det Supt Hutchinson said: “True.”

“We are aware of a number of women we believe had unprotected sex with him but there could well be many others,” he said.

“Some of the women that have been identified certainly were very short-term relationships.

“So there could be any number of women out there like that.”

Det Supt Hutchinson said more charges could follow as Mr Zaburoni’s sexual partners came forward.

He said Mr Zaburoni could face life in prison if convicted.

Mr Zaburoni’s sexual partners are urged to contact the Queensland Health hotline 13HEALTH (1343 2584) and Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

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