Johnson Aziga, 52, knew since 1996 that he was HIV positive and was under a public health order to inform his would-be lovers. He is the first person in Canada to be convicted of murder for recklessly spreading the virus.

"It’s certainly precedent-setting here in Canada because we now have a conviction for first-degree murder involving HIV transmission," prosecutor Karen Shea told the Ottawa Citizen

Seven of Aziga’s partners became infected and two died of Aids-related cancers. Several others were exposed but tested negative for the virus.

The defence argued at trial Aziga was depressed and ill and did not deliberately endanger lives. The victims said they would not have had sex with him if they knew that he was infected.

Aziga is to be sentenced on May 7.