A wellington woman is outraged her former partner has escaped a jail sentence even though he had unprotected sex without telling her he was HIV-positive.

Justin Dalley, 35, was found guilty of criminal nuisance by failing to inform the woman he was HIV positive, knowing it could endanger her.

In Wellington District Court last week, Judge Mike Behrens, QC, sentenced Dalley to 300 hours' community work, six months' supervision and told him to pay $100 reparation to the woman to cover her counselling costs and expenses.

The police requested a nine month jail term - three months less than the maximum penalty.

The woman, known only as "Shannon", said the judge's decision had sent a strong message to every HIV-positive person that Dalley's behaviour was acceptable.

"I was willing to accept home detention but not this."

She said she had been unable to work during the nine-month case and had lost about $30,000 in wages.

Judge Behrens said the woman had discovered Dalley's condition after receiving a letter from someone who knew him. She was traumatised, lost her job and was unable to face friends.

But he accepted Dalley was genuinely sorry.

Judge Behrens also took into account that the woman had lied to Dalley and his family, telling them she was HIV-positive, and that Dalley had initially pleaded guilty.