A California Supreme Court has ruled that people can be held legally responsible for transmitting HIV, even if they don't know they have it.
The court ruling allows a woman who claims that her husband had a risky gay lifestyle prior to their marriage to prove that he caused her HIV infection. Both parties now have AIDS.
"Simply put, it means that even though you didn't know, you should have known," the wife's lawyer, Roland Wrinkle, told AFP on Wednesday. "If you act negligently while driving and injure someone the negligent person bears the burden. Why should it be different with a disease?"
In the bitter dispute, the wife charges that her husband continued to solicit gay sex online after their marriage.
According to the AFP, the "should-have-known" standard should encourage people to be tested.
"To the extent people thought they could be reckless and irresponsible in these types of situations and would not be held accountable for that behaviorthat is no longer the case," Wrinkle told the AFP.