AIDS/HIV | Ari Ezra Waldman | Law - Gay, LGBT | News

Criminalizing the HIV-Positive Community

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Despite a spate of good news for the eradication of HIV -- the FDA's approval of Truvada to prevent its transmission, the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and thus retaining the ACA's great benefits for those living with HIV, and the lifting of the HIV/AIDS travel ban that allowed the International AIDS Conference to take place in Washington, D.C. last month -- there are still countless jurisdictions in which it is essentially a crime to be a sexually active HIV-positive man. In some states, individuals with HIV can be convicted of crimes of varying degrees, with penalties exceeding 10 or 20 years in jail, if they have sex without first disclosing their HIV status. And that is true even if they practice safe sex, are taking antiretroviral medications, have undetectable viral loads, and/or are on the receptive side of the sexual encounter, four factors that when combined make it almost impossible to transmit the virus.

2012-03-13.lambdalegal_sschoettesLambda Legal's Scott Schoettes (right), Director of the organization's HIV Project, and his colleague, Christopher Clark (below), represent one of the many victims of these antiquated laws. Their client, Nick Rhoades, a 34-year-old gay Iowan, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, a punishment Mssrs. Schoettes and Clark got down to time served, despite having sex in a context that made it almost impossible to transmit the HIV virus. But, those 4 years of time served included weeks of solitary confinement, among other humiliations.

The continued presence and spread of HIV is a grave public health concern. Our government has an interest in not only slowing its spread, but, hopefully, eradicating the disease entirely. But, broad criminal statutes that carpet bomb the HIV community are not the answer.

Let's be clear about the issue here. Laws that criminalize the intentional attempted transmission of HIV are different than laws that simply make it a crime for all HIV-positive individuals to have sex without disclosure. Cases like that of Philippe Padieu, who intentionally tried to infect six women with HIV, and Nushawn Williams, who is alleged to have exposed between 48 and 123 women to HIV, stir a natural emotional and punitive response. Such anger has led to the implementation of countless criminal transmission of HIV statutes and laws that punish HIV-positive individuals who intentionally spread the disease or have unprotected sex without informing partners. But, the outcry for criminalization has caused overreach.

Staff_cclark_200I argue that this overbroad criminalization is the product of a longstanding stigma associated with the HIV-positive population, in general. And, that stigma is nondiscriminatory -- it attaches to the Nushawn Williamses of the world just as it attaches to those who have no intent to harm anyone and to those who could not harm anyone even if they wanted to. I have seen cases where prosecutors were allowed to prove intent to kill or do harm merely by proving that the defendant had unprotected sex while aware of his HIV-positive status, even when the statute calls for more than mere knowledge of status. And, I have seen aggravated assault prosecutions of HIV-positive individuals who had a good faith belief that they could not transmit the disease, had used protection, and had no intent to harm. These are the cases that should concern us.

HIV criminal transmission statutes, many of which were written at the height of the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s, allow prosecutors to prove guilt merely by showing that the defendant was HIV-positive at the time of the sexual encounter and failed to disclose his status. But all those statutes hinge on some measure of the likelihood of transmission. And since today's medical technologies allow us to distinguish between types of HIV-positive individuals, our courts should recognize that not all HIV-positive Americans are dangerous weapons. Stigma and guilt-by-status have no place in the criminal law.

AFTER THE JUMP, let's consider the example of one case and see what the law is and what the law should be.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

HivLet's say a hypothetical state makes it unlawful for any person who knows he is HIV-positive to have sexual intercourse with another without first disclosing his HIV-positive status under a criminal statute that punishes anyone who uses a weapon in a way that is likely to do serious harm to the victim. Let's assume for the sake of this hypothetical that HIV can be considered a "weapon" and that the defendant will concede that he was aware that he was HIV-positive and that he did not disclose his HIV status prior to intercourse.

Prosecutors charged Beauregard ("Bo") Tomm with one count of this crime after his one-time sexual partner went to the police after finding out Bo was HIV-positive. The trial took less than a day with prosecutors offering the following evidence: Mr. Tomm is HIV-positive; he did not disclose his status; the defendant and the victim had anal intercourse, which is one of the primary ways HIV is transmitted; HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a deadly disease with no cure; and, HIV/AIDS causes serious harm or death.

Alongside statistics about how many Americans have HIV and how frequently sexual intercourse transmits the virus, this kind of evidence has convicted countless HIV-positive individuals of relatively serious crimes, carrying significant prison time.

But, there are several problems with this criminal regime. I would like to discuss the most important one.

The "likelihood" of doing harm -- in this case, the likelihood of transmission of the virus -- depends on a host of factors that prosecutors did not address. Viral load, sexual position, and safe sex practices are just three of the most obvious. The lower the viral load -- the amount of virus in the blood -- the lower the likelihood of transmission, and when an individual's viral load is undetectable under current technology, the likelihood of transmission falls even further. Bo's position during his sexual encounter, as his name suggests, was as the receiving partner, and the likelihood of transmission from the receptive to the insertive partner is exponentially lower than the reverse. Finally, if Bo's sexual partner used a condom, the likelihood of transmission is even lower.

This is all to say that each case of anal sex is different. An HIV-positive defendant whose viral load is 40,000, who was the insertive partner, and who did not use a condom engaged in an activity with a significantly higher risk of transmitting the virus than someone whose viral load was under 40 (undetectable), was the receptive partner, and practiced safe sex. 

If prosecutors can prove that transmission is likely merely by offering evidence that anal sex possibly transmits HIV, then two things happen. First, it is factually incorrect. Anal sex can transmit HIV, but all incidents of anal sex aren't fungible. Second, it is legally insufficient. The notion that a "likelihood" threshold could be satisfied by the mere possibility that HIV could be transmitted both actually lowers the threshold and eviscerates the requirement that guilt be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Think about it: If all prosecutors had to do was prove is that anal sex can possibly transmit HIV, then no doubt could be reasonable. After all, “[a]nything is possible; there are no metaphysical certainties accessible to human reason; but a merely metaphysical doubt . . . is not a reasonable doubt for the purposes of the criminal law.”  This principle does not only exclude the fanciful (“it is possible that I will burst into flames”), but also the realistic, yet remote. 

If mere possibility cannot survive as a reasonable doubt, it cannot survive as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. After all, there can be no reasonable doubt that anything is possible. And, “anything is possible” cannot survive constitutional scrutiny as a basis for criminal conviction. That makes logical sense. The statement that “anyone could have grabbed the gun from me in the dark before the gun went off” is neither a reason to exclude anyone as a suspect nor a reason to charge everyone else with the crime. If it were, everyone would be charged with everything, no one would be convicted of anything, and the reasonable doubt standard would have no meaning.

That something may be possible, however, is exactly what certain states and the military courts have accepted as proof beyond a reasonable doubt in cases involving HIV-related aggravated assault. By lowering the burden on the government to prove only that HIV could possibly be transmitted, these jurisdictions have obviated the need for a reasonable doubt standard. There can be no scintilla of doubt, let alone a reasonable one, that HIV can theoretically be transmitted through sexual intercourse. For that matter, HIV can theoretically be transmitted by oral sex, spitting, biting, or getting scratched by a monkey, but each is less likely than the one before it.

This is what lawyers call a due process problem, a constitutional evil of the highest order, especially when the strong arm of the criminal law is in play. And, HIV-positive Americans are victims of these due process violations all the time. Thankfully, our attorneys at Lambda Legal are working on the problem.

For more information about this and other criminal law issues facing the HIV-positive community, check out Lambda Legal's HIV Project and the Center for HIV Law and Policy.

***

Ari Ezra Waldman teaches at Brooklyn Law School and is concurrently getting his PhD at Columbia University in New York City. He is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. His research focuses on technology, privacy, speech, and gay rights. Ari will be writing weekly posts on law and various LGBT issues. 

Follow Ari on Twitter at @ariezrawaldman.

 

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Comments

  1. @Phillip: Is it illegal in Sweden not to disclose your status of HPV, Hepatitis, Herpes, TB, Chlamydia or gonorrhea?
    I don't disagree with disclosing HIV; but I am curious if HIV non-disclosure is illegal why isn't non-disclosure of any of these other potentially life threatening diseases not illegal too?

    Posted by: dan | Aug 8, 2012 12:58:58 PM


  2. It is hard to describe how much contempt I have for Ari Waldman. But as much contempt as I have, it doesn't compare to the contempt he shows the readers of Towleroad. He knows very well that no law "criminalizes the HIV+ community." No law being discussed here criminalizes any person with HIV. That is called criminalization of status and, if it had been enacted, promptly would be struck down as unconstitutional. None of the laws here do that, but Ari makes that completely false claim anyway, right in the title of the post. He thinks that you all are such rubes, such unthinking nonlawyers, that he can say whatever he likes to manipulate your emotions.

    As far as what is criminalized - sexual conduct that can lead to exposure - Ari's claims that a particular individual reduced the risk is of no relevance. It is the partner's right to assess the risk. If the risk is as low as Ari assures us in a given case, the partner may opt to proceed with sex. Or not. It is his choice to make after disclosure.

    Ari, on top of your loathsome commentary on Tyler Clementi and the poor "ruined" life of Dharun Ravi, you have truly made an impression of a man with no ethical framework with which to evaluate issues of importance to gay people.

    Posted by: Ben | Aug 8, 2012 12:59:43 PM


  3. If you are HIV+, you have a responsibility to disclose that fact to your sexual partners, period. They have a right to choose whether or not to entertain that risk.

    Further, these laws aren't just about whether or not someone has the potential to infect someone else, or how that potential might be mitigated during sex. This is a narrow viewpoint that must be rejected outright.

    These laws also serve to provide punishment for the emotional and psychological harm that failure to disclose inflicts on the victims of this type of assault.

    The sudden revelation that a person you have had intercourse with has a disease and did not bother telling you about it (for whatever reason) can be emotionally devastating to the victim.

    The violation of trust, the fear of not knowing your status while awaiting tests, the medical costs associated, etc. are all a form of harm inflicted by the infected person on the victim. Indeed, some of these non-physical harms can sometimes take a lifetime to recover from.

    To not disclose is selfish, stupid, dangerous, arrogant, and irresponsible.

    That all being said, if you are negative, protect yourself at all times. You never know if that trick on grindr will forever change your life. Be responsible, respect yourself, and play safe!

    Posted by: phluidik | Aug 8, 2012 1:02:15 PM


  4. Dan:
    If you contract (or even simply suspect that you have contracted) an Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B, you are required by law to immediately seek out medical attention. You are also required by law to disclose to your previous partners to whom you might have transmitted any of the above STDs of your status. You can do this either personally or anonymously through your doctor.

    Any tests and treatments for the above disease are free in Sweden, by the way, as is the "Sexual Partner Tracking Operation" you have to go through where you try to track down all of your recent sexual partners, even if you don't know their full name.

    And yes, you are required by law to inform all potential future sexual partners of your carrier status of one of those diseases.

    Sweden, where people aren't squeamish or prudish about sex and where the lawmakers aren't idiots.

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Aug 8, 2012 1:10:14 PM


  5. @philip: Thanks; as long as the laws are consistent and not specifically criminalizing HIV vs. other STDs

    Posted by: dan | Aug 8, 2012 1:13:09 PM



  6. @Dan
    I live in the country next to Sweden. And all who have (or had) STD is registered in a special Register for STD (all sexually transmitted diseases). They will be registered there forever. You are also required if you get/have an STD to inform all your sexual partners that possibly could have been infected. And I say yes to that too.

    Posted by: NN | Aug 8, 2012 1:13:41 PM


  7. I think the happiest part about these comments is that apparently if I become an absolutely disgusting internet troll with a heart of glass, I'll STILL be able to find people willing to have sex with me!

    Posted by: Alex Rowland | Aug 8, 2012 1:23:40 PM


  8. @Philip: You didn't grasp my argument, so let me put it this way. Even IF every person who knew that he was + disclosed his status to you before hooking up, it is false reassurance to believe that you are then engaging in sex with a - person. In truth, you would have no idea because many many people do not know their status and human beings can lie. So, if you believe that hooking up with someone who is potentially + is beyond your risk comfort level, even using condoms or other safer sex strategies, then you should listen to your comfort level and not hookup with anyone.

    Even if you believe that criminalizing anyone who fails to disclose his status, no matter the extenuating circumstances, is just, these laws will not protect you. Rather, they may give you a dangerous and false sense of security. Only you will protect you.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 8, 2012 1:25:02 PM


  9. It is revolting reading these comments.
    In particular, the whining that "he didn't tell." Did the panicked bottom tell the guy his status?

    Even when someone tells you they are negative- how do you know? They could be lying. They could have been infected yesterday.

    Some of you people are going to be tested some day and get a nasty surprise. And then I wonder, will all of your self righteousness come back and haunt you.

    I'm old enough to have lived through the start of the HIV epidemic. We learned the basic facts- use a condom, don't trust anybody. Take responsibility for your own health and body, don't expect someone else to do so, especially someone you have met an hour before and plan to have sex with.

    Posted by: jht | Aug 8, 2012 1:33:01 PM


  10. So those of you who say that those who are HIV+ must disclose their status:
    1.) Is that after you have asked them?
    2.) Should the HIV+ person has to disclose without you asking?
    3.) Are you asking all your sex partners about other STI's or only HIV?
    4.) Do you ask your partners when they were last tested?
    5.) If it is longer than 3 months do you assume that they are still negative?
    6.) Do you always have safe sex or are you barebacking?
    7.) If barebacking, how often do you get tested?
    8.) Would you not get tested because you then would know that you have to disclose or risk legal penalties?
    9.) Those of you that would not sleep with someone with HIV, could you even be friends with them or is the stigma too great?
    10.) Is criminalization an effective way to prevent the spread of HIV or is destigmatization?
    11.) Are you aware that 1 out of 4 persons do not know that they are HIV+? So someone who does not know their status can spread HIV, but someone who does know, takes their meds, has an undetectable viral load, and takes precautions can be prosecuted. Does ignorance=bliss?
    Please think about these questions and then talk with someone in HIV prevention and advocacy.

    Posted by: Carl | Aug 8, 2012 1:37:50 PM


  11. Ernie:
    It matters not if some people do not know their status or lie. It matters not. If you know you're positive, you have a legal or at least moral responsibility to notify your potential partners.

    The burden shouldn't be on the negative partners to ask, it should be on the positive partners.

    Does this potentially give people a false sense of security? It matters not.

    In the case of someone who lies:
    * They are a liar who lies. They are despicable. But it is inconsequential to the argument.

    In the case of someone who is unaware of their positive status:
    * So?

    It's my right to be able to screen out people who know they are positive. If it's someone who lies, they are breaking the law.

    IT MATTERS NOT what other people do. If YOU know you're positive and CHOOSE not to disclose your status, you are a DESPICABLE human being.

    I screen my partners. Heck, I rarely ever have anal sex at all. But it is MY choice to NEVER engage in sex, protected or otherwise, with people I know to be HIV+.

    And I live in a country where people generally have no problems disclosing that status.

    There is NOTHING wrong with the law. You need to get rid of the stigma. But the way to that is NOT to decriminalize not disclosing one's positive status or making excuses for people who knowingly don't!

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Aug 8, 2012 1:39:56 PM


  12. Apparently some people think they are entitled to live in a world where there is no threat of HIV at all.

    There are two ways to accomplish that:

    1. Never have sex again.

    2. Build a time machine and go back to the 1950s.

    The rest of us will take responsibility for our own sexual choices. Know the risks and take precautions. Don't stigmatize others for things you yourself should be taking precautions for.

    Thank you Ari, Ernie, and the non-paranoid folks.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 8, 2012 1:42:07 PM


  13. @JHT
    I agree that it is important to protect yourselves.When it comes down to it, you can only relay on yourself and your actions. And it's important to know that it is far from veryone who is HIV +, is people who has had many sexual partners (or drug addicts, who have shared dirty needles), because that it`s not true. We hear about people who have sex for the first time with his/hers LT girl/boyfriend, who has been infected with hiv+.

    All I know is that it can happen to us all( gay or straight), but that we must be better to not put ourselves in situations that increase the risk of us to get infected. Practicing safe sex and be more careful with one night stand (they who do that, I don`t meant this as judgmental, just that I've never done that )

    Posted by: NN | Aug 8, 2012 1:48:06 PM


  14. @Carl..Good points...
    On a side note to this discussion..the next big wave which people don't ask about and rarely get tested for is HepC...you can know everything about HIV with every partner you have (liars or not) but people are NOT getting tested for this and there are rarely symptoms until its too late...its starting to show up in the big cities here in the US just like HIV did in the early days..stay informed and safe...just on FYI everyone..

    Posted by: dan | Aug 8, 2012 1:51:31 PM


  15. Hmmm... such moral absolutism and hysterics in demonizing the HIV+ community is usually reserved for the fundamentalist crowd screaming about us in general - sad to see it here.

    Fortunately, Ari and the lawyers at Lambda Legal will be working in a court of law, where such histrionics are ineffective.

    His article does a good job of laying out the issue, how the law overreaches itself (itself based on hysteria and paranoia about HIV). Hopefully this will be overturned and a more measured series of laws will replace it soon.

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Aug 8, 2012 1:54:38 PM


  16. The sex is NOT consensual if one party is withholding valuable information. It's not your place or that of the HIV+ guy to dictate another individual's level of comfort. So because people lie we should all forgo normal human decency?

    --No one is advocating unprotected sex with strangers regardless of status. Condoms should be at all times when in a non-monogamous relationship. But failure to disclose your status robs the other party of entering a consensual act.

    Posted by: napro | Aug 8, 2012 2:02:05 PM


  17. @Carl
    "9.) Those of you that would not sleep with someone with HIV, could you even be friends with them or is the stigma too great?"

    I work within street prostitution and drug addicts who use needles.I behave towards them like everyone else. And I have no problem to be friends with people with Hiv, to hug them, use the same knife, fork, sharing food, use the same glass, give them the closeness and physical contact etc.

    The only difference is that I would not sleep with them, not because of the stigma. but because of that I would not put myself in unnecessary risk to become infected.

    If I had fallen in love with someone who was HIV +, maybe I had seen it differently after we had get to know each othervery well?. But since that has not happened, I do not know if I would then changed my mind and wanted to sleep with someone who was HIV +

    Posted by: NN | Aug 8, 2012 2:03:08 PM


  18. You are responsible for you! Don't assume that because someone is not discussing their status that they are negative. Don't assume that just because someone says they are negative that they don't have HIV, they may not know. Don't forget there are other STDs out there besides HIV. Don't want HIV, then use a condom each and every time! Can't tolerate the possibility that you could unknowingly have sex with someone who is positive but not disclosing....then don't have random hook-ups. Don't do anything you are not completely comfortable doing! Don't have sex when you are really drunk or high as you may be less likely to use protection! Talk with your sex partners about the importance of being safe regardless of HIV status. YOU are responsible for YOU!

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 8, 2012 2:13:20 PM


  19. Philip, thera is no point going round and round on this, but all the things you insist "matter not" in terms of the law in fact matter a lot in terms of real life protection of yourself. You should absolutely avoid having sex, even protected sex, with any one whose status you don't know for sure because it makes you uncomfortable. That will include most people. Then it becomes your responsibility to decide knowing that laws, such as the one Sweden has, are both controversial (a quick Google search reveals just how controversial) and ineffective.

    I applaud HIV+ people who are open and honest about their status (it is the right thing to do), but there is no practical guarantee that a stranger who says he is negative is actually so, so everyone should make their own risk assessment accordingly. It would be nice if law could ensure risk-free sex, but it can't, and the best way to do that is to protect yourself via common sense. Even if the responsibility shouldn't be on the person who thinks or knows he is negative (I believe both have responsibility), it is in the best interest of that person to TAKE that responsibility. Sometimes being "right" is less important than taking care of yourself regardless of your sex partner's behavior.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 8, 2012 2:20:10 PM


  20. It's disheartening to see so many people defending the right of an HIV+ person to knowingly or negligently disclose his positive status to a potential sex partner.

    I don't care how low your viral load is, or that you wore a condom. Any person with an STD has an obligation to disclose the same to any potential sex partner, PERIOD. People have a right to make informed choices about who they are having sex with, which includes knowing if the other person has HIV. An infected person does NOT have the right to make the risk assessment FOR the other person, PERIOD.

    These laws are about informed consent, which everyone has the right to have.

    It has nothing to do with "criminalizing HIV-positive community" as the title of this post suggests. There is no law which says HIV positive people cannot participate fully in civic life. There are laws that require an HIV+ person to disclose his or her status before having sex with someone because the virus is transmittable. Accidents happen. The other person has the right to know the facts before consenting to sex where a broken condom can lead to infection, PERIOD.

    Posted by: TedinSac | Aug 8, 2012 2:24:18 PM


  21. It's disheartening to see so many people defending the right of an HIV+ person to knowingly or negligently disclose his positive status to a potential sex partner.

    I don't care how low your viral load is, or that you wore a condom. Any person with an STD has an obligation to disclose the same to any potential sex partner, PERIOD. People have a right to make informed choices about who they are having sex with, which includes knowing if the other person has HIV. An infected person does NOT have the right to make the risk assessment FOR the other person, PERIOD.

    These laws are about informed consent, which everyone has the right to have.

    It has nothing to do with "criminalizing HIV-positive community" as the title of this post suggests. There is no law which says HIV positive people cannot participate fully in civic life. There are laws that require an HIV+ person to disclose his or her status before having sex with someone because the virus is transmittable. Accidents happen. The other person has the right to know the facts before consenting to sex where a broken condom can lead to infection, PERIOD.

    Posted by: TedinSac | Aug 8, 2012 2:24:19 PM


  22. Follow-up -- my above comment assumes the HIV+ person knows his status. To the extent he does not know, it is up to the other person to make the risk assessment based on information available.

    My point is that people who know their positive status, or reasonably should know it, should disclose.

    Posted by: TedinSac | Aug 8, 2012 2:27:36 PM


  23. Follow-up -- my above comment assumes the HIV+ person knows his status. To the extent he does not know, it is up to the other person to make the risk assessment based on information available.

    My point is that people who know their positive status, or reasonably should know it, should disclose.

    Posted by: TedinSac | Aug 8, 2012 2:27:37 PM


  24. All those questions about the health status of your partner are of course true. You can never know 100% what another person may have. However, if the other person knows, all of that doubt goes away. You have a right to know that. I agree with the "informed consent" sentiment and agree that it should remain a criminal action to not disclose when you have knowledge that you are willfully not disclosing. AIDS is still a terminal, incurable disease that is only treatable with a lifetime of aggressive drug therapy.

    Posted by: PDX Guy | Aug 8, 2012 2:45:07 PM


  25. @Carl
    1) Responsibility is a two-way street. Someone who is negative can't inflict the same kind of harm as someone who is positive. Ergo, the person who is infected has a greater responsibility to inform than someone who is negative from a harm-prevention perspective. However, this does not negate the responsibility someone who is negative has to themselves to discuss risk before playtime.
    2) Yep. Absolutely.
    3) Personally, I ask about everything.
    4) Yep. Their response serves as an indicator towards responsibility, which goes towards risk evaluation.
    5) Nope. Asking when they were last tested merely gives a hint at the risk I'm taking, and is not in any way a guarantee.
    6) Always safe.
    7) I don't bareback, and I get tested every nine months.
    8) No, because that would be irresponsible, stupid, dangerous, and selfish.
    9) I've no issues playing safely with someone who is positive, so long as I know the risk going in and trust they will do their best to play safely with me. I enjoy many friendships with people who are positive. Some of them I know to be responsible and capable of helping to protect me. Those that are not responsible, I choose not to play with.
    10) We're not talking about criminalizing people who have HIV as a means of prevention, we're talking about punishing the harm that failure to disclose can cause and whether or not that punishment is warranted. Certainly, not disclosing erodes prevention to a degree, but I'm not clear that that is what this conversation is really about.
    11) It is truly difficult to know your status for certain, especially given the replication period required for some viruses before a test would show anything conclusive. However, someone who doesn't have some level of certainty about their STD status, in this day and age, is at best irresponsible and negligent at worst. Everyone should discuss risk potential before play, regardless of current known status. That's called being a responsible person. Folks that know they are positive and do not disclose, are making a decision that knowingly inflicts emotional (and in the case of actual transmission, physical) harm on their victims. It is these harms that these laws attempt to address. This is different than someone accidentially exposing someone else to a disease because they didnt know they were a carrier, so long as the carrier has taken all available measures to be responsible and does the right thing (i.e. inform recent sexual partners, alerting new sexual partners) once their status changes.

    Merely having HIV (or any disease) is not a crime. Failing to tell your sexual partners, limiting their choice to engage that risk, and putting them through hell b/c you are irresponsible, is.

    Posted by: phluidik | Aug 8, 2012 2:50:12 PM


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