HIV testing and counselling is being offered by the Aids Foundation after the naming today of a man who deliberately infected his wife with HIV.

A court lifted name suppression on Artwell Chakanyuka, 35, and police issued a photograph of him.

They said he had been sexually active in the Auckland area and women who had had sex with him should get in touch with them or health services.

Chakanyuka was was jailed for eight years and four months on February 3 for wilfully infecting his 33-year-old wife with the virus, by pricking her with needles contaminated with his blood. He intended that she would catch the disease and resume having sex with him.

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) tonight said it was encouraging people to access both HIV testing and support services.

"This is a truly distressing situation for anyone to be in: people who find out they may have been exposed to HIV will be very stressed out and we advise them to access HIV testing and support services as soon as possible," said Eamonn Smythe, NZAF's director of positive health services.

"This is a very lonely and worrying situation to be in but help is available - it's much better to know, and have support, than to struggle in isolation and uncertainty."

Mr Smythe said HIV had far reaching consequences. Support for people affected by HIV needed to continue beyond testing.

"The family of Chakanyuka are in our thoughts at this time; it is essential that they experience respect and compassion, not discrimination and stigma as a result of this court decision."

Unlike the early days of the HIV epidemic, modern testing methods like the FASTests (Fee Anonymous Simple Test for HIV) used by the NZAF provide a result in 20 minutes, were almost painless and were totally confidential. The NZAF provides free therapeutic services nationwide with qualified counsellors and psychotherapists before and after testing, for both positive and negative results.

Anyone needing testing and support can call 0800 802 437 or go to www.nzaf.org.nz.

HIV can only be spread through bodily fluids such as semen or blood. HIV is not airborne and can not be transmitted through skin to skin contact or kissing. In New Zealand, HIV is almost exclusively transmitted through sexual contact but using condoms and lube for sex can easily prevent this.

- NZPA