A HAIRDRESSER accused of deliberately infecting male lovers with HIV described himself as a “vegan hippie” and refused prescribed medication because he was trying to cure himself by drinking his own urine, a court heard.
Daryll Rowe told a jury he decided not to take the antiretroviral drug prescribed to combat HIV because he read online that he should avoid the treatment while practising the alternative urine therapy.
The 27-year-old, originally from Edinburgh and now of no fixed address, is on trial at Lewes Crown Court facing allegations lodged by 10 men that he deliberately set out to infect them with HIV.
He denies ten charges - five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
When he took the stand on Thursday in his defence, Rowe said: “When I went in for the diagnosis I was doing the urine therapy. I thought I was going to cure myself.”
When asked by his defence barrister Felicity Gerry QC why he chose not to take the medication recommended to him by doctors on his diagnosis in April 2015, he said: “Because the sites I was looking at had a section on curing HIV.
“It said you shouldn’t take ART (antiretroviral drugs) while doing urine therapy.”
He told the court he followed recommendations he read online to drink his own urine first thing in the morning and then throughout the day in a bid to rid his body of the virus and benefit from its nutrients, adding: “When I found out I was positive I went quite heavily into it.
“Before I was diagnosed I was never into taking medication unless I needed them.
“I thought most medication just damaged the body.”
He said he formed that opinion from information he read online.
In his Instagram profile he described himself as a “vegan hippie”.
He also watched Youtube videos on alternative therapies after turning vegetarian at the age of 18 and later turning vegan, the court heard.
He also ordered other remedies like oregano oil, coconut oil and olive leaf oil online and bought them in specialist shops in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Brighton, East Sussex, the court heard.
After being diagnosed with HIV, he told the court he also tried to use the oregano oil to treat genital warts he later contracted but it did not work, so he sought medical treatment and used apple cider vinegar.
The trial continues.