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Investigation Underway – Truscott Faces Charges

Media Release, Wednesday 4 April 01

INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

A formal review is underway after an incident in relation to the isolation of Mr Christopher Truscott.

Christopher Truscott faces criminal charges as a result and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court today.

Mr Truscott has been isolated at an address in Christchurch since May of 1999 under section 79 of the Health Act. The purpose of section 79 is to reduce the spread of infectious disease in the community. In the case of Christopher Truscott, the isolation order is to prevent him having unprotected sex.

The name of the provider is suppressed.

"As a result of the incident, a staff member has been stood down pending a full investigation. It is believed the incident occurred because of human error and I have requested full reports from the provider," says Medical Officer of Health, Dr Daniel Williams.

"Staff at the address will undergo a further briefing about protocols in relation to Christopher Truscott and the isolation order."

"Christopher is not a danger to the public, only to those who chose to have unprotected sex with him. Anyone who has unsafe sex puts themselves at risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases."

"It is important to remember that Christopher Truscott is in isolation and not incarceration. In a situation like this, the point of the isolation order is to prevent a person having unprotected sex, not to imprison him. The goal is to provide therapeutic care in a community like setting."

A second person continues to be effectively isolated at the same address.


ENDS

Dr Mel Brieseman who has been handling this case is on leave and will return to Crown Public Health tomorrow.

For further information: Tracey Lyall
Glass Tower Public Relations
03 365 1445

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