A one-legged German who is at the center of a mass HIV scare involving hundreds of Thai women and girls faces deportation from the country, officials said yesterday. \nHans-Otto Schiemann, 54, told reporters he was confirmed with the HIV virus three years ago, and health officials said he could have had unprotected sex with up to 400 people. Schiemann, who boasted of being like "heroin to girls," posed such a health threat that authorities printed banners and thousands of flyers warning students away from him. He was arrested for overstaying his visa and faces deportation at a court hearing tomorrow, but Thai officials said they were powerless to take action over allegations about his sexual conduct. \nIn a 30-minute interview in a prison meeting room, Schiemann -- married to a Thai woman for five years who is now ravaged with AIDS -- complained of being persecuted. \n"They persecute playboys here like Hitler persecuted the Jews," said the bearded Schiemann, who showed no remorse about continuing to have sex with women. \n"I got it [HIV] three years ago, I didn't have it when I first came here," he said, but added it was "not important in my body." \nHe also boasted of paying off the police. "I am smart and I know the law better than they do. Soon I will be free." \nNeighbors said Schiemann drove around the northern town of Chaiyaphum and offered large sums of money for sex. He also frequented karaoke bars to find women. \n"We don't know how many girls he has had relations with but we estimate that it could reach 400," a health official assigned to the case said. \nA banner commissioned by a town hospital named Schiemann as a health threat to women and warned that he was "seeking female students to have sex with him for a lot of money." \nThe hospital has urged all girls in and around the town to be tested for HIV/AIDS regardless of whether they slept with the German. \nSchiemann, a former sailor in the German navy who first visited Thailand nine years ago, refused to have a blood test at Chaiyaphum prison to confirm he has HIV or AIDS, police said. Official estimates of the scale of his sexual activities were supported by neighbors. \n"I know of about 100 girls between the age of 15 and 17 who Schiemann paid about 5,000 baht [US$125] for unprotected sex," said a neighbor, who did not want to be named.
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