skpic hiv poster

A notice, posted in Regina's North-Central area, alleges a man who is HIV-positive has been engaged in unprotected sex. [Elements of the image have been blurred/deleted by CBC News] (Tory Gillis/CBC)

A vengeful ex-partner may be the source of posters which have been circulated on social media, warning people in Regina about an HIV-positive man who may be engaging in unprotected sex.

The posters appeared about one week ago. While some were posted in public spaces, electronic versions have also been uploaded to Facebook pages and online classifieds.

CBC News tried to contact the man identified in the poster, but could not reach him. A woman who lives at the address listed on the poster told CBC News he is indeed HIV-positive. She added he has suffered an assault since the posters surfaced.

The woman also suggested the posters may be the work of a vengeful ex-partner.

Police told CBC News if they thought there was a risk to the public, they would issue a warning. For now, they said, the poster is simply making allegations.

"There is no threat to the public in this case," Leslie Parker, a spokesman for the police department said. "The poster makes the claim that the public is under threat [but] we really couldn't speak to that one way or the other."

Parker added that police have no complaints about the man, and added that the man identified has not complained.

One of the posters was briefly tacked to the bulletin board of the North Central Regina community centre. It was quickly removed by staff.

Dr. Denise Werker, the chief medical health officer for the province, told CBC News that the poster is troubling.

"I can't speculate on the behaviours of a person that put up a poster," Werker said. "I just think it really is ... truly unfortunate, because they have done harm to that person."

Werker added that when it comes to HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, everyone who is sexually active should take precautions.

She also noted the role of the public health agency is to protect people, not punish them.

"The idea is not to police these people, but to make sure that society at large is educated and takes the necessary precautions," she said.

With files from CBC's Tory Gillis