The man was arrested on Monday and will be remanded in custody while the initial investigation continues, according to a police press release.
The police statement says that part of the investigation includes finding out if any more women have been in contact with the man, and whether they might also be infected.
The statement talks only of a serious infectious disease, but chief epidemiologist Haraldur Briem confirmed with reporters that the man is suspected of having transmitted HIV. Neither Haraldur nor Alda Hrönn Jóhannsdóttir, deputy police chief, would discuss the case in further detail at this stage.
HIV is a life-threatening illness if allowed to develop without treatment. It can develop into AIDS, which causes the immune system to shut down and lead to death; often years after initial infection. There is not yet a cure for HIV, but it is controllable with medication and infection is detected through blood tests.
Details of the man’s suspected crimes have not been released. One likely explanation for his arrest could be engaging in unprotected sex with the women without telling them he has HIV—an act which would be against the law.
His name has not been released yet.