Three gay men go on trial today in Holland charged with picking up more than a dozen men on the Internet, drugging them and injecting them with HIV positive blood.

The case has shocked the Netherlands.

12 men are claiming they became HIV positive after chatting to the accused online and meeting up with them in 2006 and 2007.

They say they were invited to gay orgies via the internet and were drugged with GHB and esctasy.

They were then raped and injected with HIV positive blood.

AIDS groups in the city of Groningen approached police about the parties after receiving tipoffs.

Three gay men, aged 39, 48 and 49, stand accused of aggravated assault, rape, and the illegal possession of drugs. They were arrested last year.

Lawyer Fred Kappelhof, who is acting for the victims, told Radio Netherlands:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the defence tries to deny that my clients were infected at the sex parties.

“I can’t really say anything about it except that I believe the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) has a very strong case.

“Reports from a number of experts will be presented during the course of the trial.

“The PPO is prepared for the defence lawyer’s tactics and several experts have been retained in order to answer any challenges by the defence.

“The reports and the experts’ testimony will help to clarify the issue.”