A man accused of intentionally infecting dozens of women with HIV over a period of 10 years has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Italian accountant Valentino Talluto, 33, met women on social networks and dating sites. Between 2006 - when Talluto was diagnosed as HIV positive - and 2015, he infected 30 women with the virus.

Prosecutors in Rome requested a life sentence for Talluto, but the court handed the defendant a 24-year sentence after finding he did not cause an epidemic by spreading a pathogen.

The court heard how Talluto dated numerous women and proclaimed his love for them, before persuading them to have unprotected sex with him.

Women who asked him to wear a condom said he told them he was allergic, or he had been tested for HIV.

When the women found out they were HIV positive, they said Talluto denied having anything to do with it.

The Locale reported the youngest was 14 at the beginning of her relationship with Talluto.

Prosecutor Elena Neri told the court: "Talluto has never cooperated, he has made false statements, he has always denied any responsibility, even in the face of the evidence. His actions were intended to sow death."

"He did not intentionally seek to transmit the virus," his lawyer Maurizio Barca said, stating Talluto used condoms "most of the time" and only had sex without them a few times after being "caught in the heat of the action".

He also said it was impossible to prove it was Talluto and not other partners who had infected the women.

Talluto said: "Many of the girls know my friends and family. They say that I wanted to infect as many people as possible. If that had been the case, I would have gone for casual sex in bars, I would not have brought them into my life."