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Man Who Used HIV as a Weapon (The)

UK, English, 49 mins

  • Director: Charlotte Charlton

CGiii Comment

This powerful documentary tells the intimate and shocking accounts of five men who were abused by Daryll Rowe - the first ever person in the UK to be convicted after deliberately infecting men with HIV. The men in this film have waived their anonymity to speak publicly for the first time. Some have never told their families. And all have the same burning question: Why did he do it?

These multiple perspectives build a gripping account of how, over 18 months, Daryll Rowe set out on a dangerous, nationwide campaign to trick men into having unprotected sex with him. We hear first-hand how he would lie about his HIV status, sabotage condoms and later send abusive text messages taunting them with the virus: ‘You have HIV. Lol.’ A total of 24 men reported him to the police, but nobody knows how many others Daryll Rowe slept with.

Through candid and revealing testimonies, we not only explore the devastating effect of psychological abuse, but also the resilience of ordinary people. Alongside the men, we follow Daryll Rowe’s foster mother, Jacqui, as she tries to come to terms with - and to understand - her son’s crimes. But there is only one person who really has the answer: Daryll Rowe himself. Are we any closer to finding out why he did it? In a tense final showdown we speak to him in an attempt to understand and provide answers for those affected.


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