The 28 year old pop star has been found guilty on one count of causing grievous bodily harm and two of attempted bodily harm.
During the trial the singer had admitted to having unprotected sex with several partners without revealing her HIV status and had told the court she was “sorry from the bottom of my heart”.
Sentencing, Judge Dennis Wacker acknowledged that Benaissa had expressed remorse during the trial, but that the court found that she was guilty of intentionally and recklessly infected one of her former partners with HIV and endangering two others.
Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German Aids-awareness group) spokeswoman Marianne Rademacher said in response to the verdict: “If the responsibility for prevention is put entirely upon women and HIV-positive people, we are not recognising the combined responsibility of two people.”
The five-day trial, took place in a youth court in the western town of Darmstad, because Benaissa was 16 when the first offence took place. The court discovered that Benaissa was a troubled teenager who spent her early teens addicted to drugs and often homeless.
At 16 Nadja became pregnant and then discovered she was HIV-positive. Her career took off shortly after when she was catapulted to stardom in the all-girl group ‘No Angels’ after winning Germany’s version of Popstars in 2001.
The trial has received worldwide media attention and has again raised the issue of the criminal HIV transmission. Many HIV activists in the UK have been shocked by the stigmatising language used by people on national media websites in response to features and discussion boards on the issue.
One fan told the BBC’s Tristana Moore who was reporting from the trial, she was disappointed that Nadja Benaissa hadn’t told her former lovers that she was HIV-positive. “But the guys could have also used a condom – it’s not just Nadja’s fault,” she said.
As part of the two-year suspended sentence. Benaissa will also be expected to do 300 hours community service and undergo counselling.