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A former male prostitute who was once deemed a public health risk and put into isolation for knowingly spreading HIV to other men is back on Christchurch streets busking.
Christopher Ian Truscott was put into secure care in 1999 under the Health Act by the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health after being convicted for having sex with four men without telling them he was HIV-positive.
He claimed he had sexual relations with thousands of men while being HIV-positive. Truscott is no longer in secure care and took up busking about six weeks ago.
The Star spoke to him yesterday on New Regent St, where he was dressed up and doing his skit ‘Statue Man’ in which he pretends to be a statue.
“I’m keeping out of trouble, and I’m keeping it that way,” he told The Star.
“It’s easier to get in trouble, it’s harder to get out.”
Truscott was kept under intense supervision for 10 years until 2009 in various Government-funded locations, including in Merivale and Selwyn, at a cost of up to $300,000 a year.
He escaped multiple times, often going back to Hagley Park where one of his sexual liaisons occurred.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Cheryl Brunton said Truscott’s supervision ended some years ago and he was now a “private citizen.”
Dr Brunton said the Canterbury District Health Board was not aware of Truscott’s busking, as it posed no threat to public health.
“HIV cannot be passed on by casual contact or being in the same geographical area as (an) infected person with HIV. Transmission of HIV requires close contact with blood or bodily fluids.”
Truscott said he had been busking every day around central city tourist spots and
Cathedral Square’s Friday Street Food Market for about six weeks because it was a good money earner.
“I’ve got my freedom back and I’m keeping it,” he said. “I don’t do those things anymore.”