An Italian man who knowingly passed on the deadly HIV virus to more than 30 other people, including a five-year-old, has been sentenced to 24 years' imprisonment.
Valentino Talluto, a 33-year-old accountant, picked up dozens of women on the internet, including minors, and had unprotected sex with them despite testing positive to HIV in 2006.
He was convicted in Rome late on Friday after judges established that he infected 29 women, who in turn transmitted the virus to two other men and the son of a woman who slept with Talluto during pregnancy.
The Il Messaggero newspaper and the ANSA news agency said Talluto betrayed no emotion as the ruling was read out, while several of his victims, present in court, cried and hugged each other.
Talluto was arrested in November 2015 after being reported by one of victims. During the trial, he said, "I have been described as a monster but those who know me know that I am not a bad person."
The criminal case against Talluto is the first of its kind in Italy. Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence, and Friday's ruling could be subject to appeal.
Thanks to medical advances, life expectancy for HIV/AIDS patients has greatly increased in recent years, but the disease still killed 1 million people in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation.