Unprotected sex with someone when you know you are HIV +

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    Aug 16, 2010 4:17 PM GMT
    A singer from German girl band No Angels has admitted to having unprotected sex with several partners without warning them she was HIV-positive.

    She faces a charge of grievous bodily harm for allegedly infecting one man.

    She has also been charged with attempted bodily harm for allegedly having sex with two other men who were not infected.

    The charges carry a prison sentence ranging from six months to 10 years.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10983227



    Ok... so this article made me wonder whether people who know they are HIV positive should be charged with something like grievous bodily harm if they have unprotected sex. Also, it seems to me that people could go for years infecting others with HIV when they know their status. I guess some people could do the same without knowing their status. My point therefore is whether people think HIV and other STI tests should be carried out routinely and made obligatory? The article talks about creating a stigma around HIV, but its definitely already there in my opinion. Do you think HIV infection rates would alter if testing was obligatory?

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    Aug 16, 2010 4:59 PM GMT
    Aspects of this have been debated from the time HIV was first identified, and the means of transmission began to be understood. In addition to calls for mandatory testing (at first only of gay men), also mentioned was the involuntary quarantining of the infected in special facilities, essentially what would be concentration camps. There was wild speculation, subsequently proven to be unfounded, that insect "vectors" like mosquitos, fleas & ticks might carry HIV-infected blood from one person to another, thus spreading the disease.

    The result of this near-panic had the negative result of making many gay men afraid of being tested for HIV, lest their names become public if found poz, or worse, that they would be rounded-up at some point. And many US States do require health professionals to report positive HIV test results to state agencies. Just like any computerized personal data these days, such as credit cards, it probably is only a matter of time before this information might be hacked, or accidentally released, and made public.

    That's why many HIV experts argue for anonymous testing, to remove the fear barrier that keeps many people from agreeing to be tested. They argue it's better to have more people being tested anonymously, than fewer people being tested and reported. And most to my knowledge do not think testing should be mandatory, except as a preliminary to medical operations, and the sharing of blood, and possibly before marriage, like the blood tests that used to be required for a marriage license in most US States.

    That fear of exposure certainly was my own reason for not being tested, at a time when I was very sexually active, and should have been tested. I kept looking for any HIV signs in myself, always alert to "mild flu-like" symptoms. I really sweat-out my first HIV test, but my future partner's HIV doctor had insisted on one, or he said he would object to our living together. (My future partner was poz himself but the doctor was concerned about cross-infection, saying "I have to know what I'm dealing with in treating my patient")

    I would not argue for mandatory HIV testing, nor mandatory reporting. At the same time, if a person can be proven to have known they were poz, and had unprotected sex, I think they should be prosecuted. Perhaps for reckless endangerment (a charge used in the US), or something more serious if any sex partner contracts HIV. There is legal precedent regarding other infectious diseases, so HIV and the gay community would not be singled out and discriminated against in my view. There is such a thing as responsible behavior, versus being willfully reckless, if not actually malicious.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 16, 2010 5:58 PM GMT
    Wilton said....
    I would not argue for mandatory HIV testing, nor mandatory reporting. At the same time, if a person can be proven to have known they were poz, and had unprotected sex, I think they should be prosecuted. Perhaps for reckless endangerment (a charge used in the US), or something more serious if any sex partner contracts HIV. There is legal precedent regarding other infectious diseases, so HIV and the gay community would not be singled out and discriminated against in my view. There is such a thing as responsible behavior, versus being willfully reckless, if not actually malicious.



    YES!!! my thoughts/feelings exactly.
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    Aug 16, 2010 9:40 PM GMT
    rnch said
    Wilton said....
    I would not argue for mandatory HIV testing, nor mandatory reporting. At the same time, if a person can be proven to have known they were poz, and had unprotected sex, I think they should be prosecuted. Perhaps for reckless endangerment (a charge used in the US), or something more serious if any sex partner contracts HIV. There is legal precedent regarding other infectious diseases, so HIV and the gay community would not be singled out and discriminated against in my view. There is such a thing as responsible behavior, versus being willfully reckless, if not actually malicious.



    YES!!! my thoughts/feelings exactly.


    Agreed. If you know your status and willing engage in unprotected sex you are robbing your partners of their right to informed consent. That said, it is also incumbent on those who want to remain STD free to ask.