Clayton Palmer, Australian sex worker imprisoned for giving client HIV, fighting deportation to New Zealand - report

  • 19/04/2023

An Australian sex worker jailed for infecting a client with HIV is fighting back against a decision to cancel her visa that will see her deported to New Zealand.

Clayton Palmer, a transgender woman, was set to be deported to New Zealand because of her criminal history - despite being a resident of Australia since 2006, NCA NewsWire reported.

Her visa cancellation came following a four-year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm after having sex with a client despite knowing she had HIV.

Palmer's lawyers have appeared at the Federal Court in Sydney on Tuesday seeking to stop her deportation, arguing she was taking drugs and struggling to accept her diagnosis at the time. 

Defence lawyer Bora Kaplan said removing Palmer from Australia would be wrong, given she was taking medication that lowered her probability of passing the infection on to a partner.

"The evidence before the [Immigration] Minister was quite clear in my respectful submission, and it was… Ms Palmer had consistently taken her medication since 2016," said Kaplan, as reported by NCA.

"Importantly, even during those times that she had relapsed into illicit drug use… there was nothing to suggest that there was a risk that she would stop taking that medication going forward."

In 2020, Palmer reportedly told the Administrative Appeals Tribunal she wanted to remain in Australia to keep her connection with the country's sex worker, transgender and HIV communities.

Tuesday's court hearing was adjourned.