HIV is not a Crime

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    Oct 13, 2014 8:23 PM GMT
    Kerry Thomas is serving 30 years in an Idaho prison for non-disclosure, even though he used condoms, had an undetectable viral load and did not transmit HIV.

    Donald Bogardus had an undetectable viral load and didn’t transmit HIV, but a former partner pressed charges. He’s facing up to 25 years in Iowa.


    http://blogs.poz.com/marksking/2014/06/hiv_is_not_a_crime.html



    Rhoades’ is not an isolated case. Over the last decade, there have been at least 541 cases in which people were convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, criminal charges for not disclosing that they were HIV-positive, according to a ProPublica analysis of records from 19 states. The national tally is surely higher, because at least 35 states have laws that specifically criminalize exposing another person to HIV. In 29 states, it is a felony. None of the laws require transmission to occur.

    Defendants in these cases were often sentenced to years — sometimes decades — in prison, even when they used a condom or took other precautions against infecting their partners. In 60 cases for which extensive documentation could be obtained, ProPublica found just four involving complainants who actually became infected with HIV. Even in such cases, it can be hard to prove who transmitted the virus without genetic tests matching the accused’s HIV strain to their accuser’s.

    People with HIV have even done time for spitting, scratching or biting. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spitting and scratching cannot transmit HIV, and transmission through biting “is very rare and involves very specific circumstances” — namely, “severe trauma with extensive tissue damage and the presence of blood.”
    In 2011, for example, Nebraska passed a measure that made biting or spitting on public safety officers a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine — unless the offender is HIV-positive. Then the same crime is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/hiv-criminal-transmission

  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Oct 14, 2014 2:49 PM GMT
    it's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period
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    Oct 14, 2014 2:56 PM GMT
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    But you are speaking to someone who continually demonstrates morally repugnant mindset. So methinks your comment is falling on deaf ears. I am convinced the OP is hell bent on ensuring everyone becomes HIV poz.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Oct 14, 2014 5:05 PM GMT
    Simply trust no man. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • vhotti26

    Posts: 287

    Oct 14, 2014 6:18 PM GMT
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    That's for sure, but I would expect any responsible person to always act like a partner could be positive if he doesn't know the person 110%.

    But then, unfortunately I have learned that most guys are not that responsible...

    This Kerry Thomas guy is a dumb idiot, but sentencing anyone for not disclosing is pretty dumb and against anything America is about.
    Dispensing HIV after non-disclosure is punishable as aggravated assault in Germany, and that's about what it should be in my eyes.
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    Oct 14, 2014 6:45 PM GMT
    Blondizgd said
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    But you are speaking to someone who continually demonstrates morally repugnant mindset. So methinks your comment is falling on deaf ears. I am convinced the OP is hell bent on ensuring everyone becomes HIV poz.


    You "methinks" wrong on all accounts.

    Personally I think everyone shouldtell their status. It's easier online just to list it (POZ, NEG, PREP, UNDETECTABLE, Don't Know), but when out and about it's more difficult, but not a big deal. On our way out I've said "Oh wait we haven't had "the talk" yet!"

    It's the people who don't test and don't know that are perpetuating HIV.
  • 5100s

    Posts: 188

    Oct 14, 2014 6:52 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    Or you take accountability for your own safety and for your own health by asking the person, or rather the stranger you're about to sleep with, if he has HIV.

    You can get on your high horse all that you want. But just remember that for a lot of people; hooking up with someone for sex that you have only met just moments ago at a bar or a club or a bathhouse is considered to be morally bankrupt as well.

    If you simply made the assumption that the person you are with might have HIV, since you don't know him very well in the first place, then you would use the protection necessary in order to avoid getting HIV. It really is that simple. There is no need for judgements.


    Very well said.

    I always tell my partners in casual sex that I automatically assume they're HIV positive and they should assume I am too. I take the appropriate precautions and have a lot of fun, and neither of us are at risk. It does take all the judgment out of it.
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    Oct 14, 2014 6:54 PM GMT
    I would never suggest that someone have sex with anyone, for any reason, that they didn't want to. However, there are problems with any HIV non-disclosure law:

    1) It absolves people from taking responsibility for their own sexual health. If YOU to ask them in an appropriate, respectful manner (not "Are you clean?" or "Are you D/D free?"). And if you do get a "I'm HIV-", you need to ask yourself how well do you know that person to trust their word? What if the person themselves isn't even aware they have it? If you wouldn't give the person a key to your house while you were out of the country, or the PIN to your bank card, you shouldn't have unprotected sex with them UNLESS you are prepared for any and all consequences.

    2) It encourages people not to educate themselves. So many people freak out even before sex when they find out someone is HIV+, but who is also on meds with an undetectable viral load and engages in safer sex...but have no problem engaging in safer sex with people whose HIV statuses cannot be verified. It's as though these people are believing that "ignorance is bliss" (mentally and sexually) or that there is a "look" to HIV (which was true in the 80's & 90's, but definitely much less so today). Which of these two scenarios is actually safer? How many people could have HIV and you not know it? What are basic protocols to take? Once upon a time, HIV/AIDS campaigns were rampant to stop the spread of the disease; now you almost have to go looking for them. People need to know ALL they can about HIV/AIDS before making decisions about potential partners, and always from a reputable source.

    3) What if someone DID in fact disclose their status BEFORE sex, but the person freaked out after the fact and/or the relationship ends and the other person is bitter about it and decides to enact some revenge by saying they were never told about the other person's status? How does someone who is HIV+ prove they told them? Some AIDS organizations suggest things like: printing off & saving messages where you tell the person about your status; or have some friends witness that you have told the person about your status & that they are ok with it. If it comes to a he said/other he said situation, the nature of the law automatically vilifies people with HIV and casts doubt on their credibility. After all, who would lie about being told someone was HIV+, hmn??? It could NEVER happen...

    In the end, if you're having casual sex and you're not prepared to be with someone may be HIV+ (whether or not they actually know that they are), keep your pants zipped up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 14, 2014 7:14 PM GMT
    I agree that more information and awareness is needed, as a policy I get tested at least 2/3 times a year (or more frequently).

    I've dated undetectable guys, all of whom were upfront about their status. All it means is that you just need to be aware and prepared. HIV is certainly a sobering component but that is the way it should be.

    I had a freak out session when I asked a guy his status, and he said he was "healthy", which should have been a warning. Later I found out that he was undetectable, which again wouldn't have been a problem if I had known before hand and was prepared. Personally I felt that he had lied/mis-led me which still makes me angry today. I've learned my lesson, and I don't trust guys regardless of what they say their status is. All of us need to play safe and be aware, and HIV+ guys, just be honest. Its the best policy.


    ----------------------

    While we are talking about this, people please be aware that 1 in 10 strains of HIV are resistant to PrEP. Do not assume that just because you are on on PrEP that means you don't need to worry or get tested. Personally I don't like the idea of HIV- people on PrEP as it is going to greatly increase this resistance rate, but any reduction in transmission is a good thing.
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    Oct 14, 2014 7:15 PM GMT
    5100s said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period

    Or you take accountability for your own safety and for your own health by asking the person, or rather the stranger you're about to sleep with, if he has HIV.

    You can get on your high horse all that you want. But just remember that for a lot of people; hooking up with someone for sex that you have only met just moments ago at a bar or a club or a bathhouse is considered to be morally bankrupt as well.

    If you simply made the assumption that the person you are with might have HIV, since you don't know him very well in the first place, then you would use the protection necessary in order to avoid getting HIV. It really is that simple. There is no need for judgements.

    Very well said.

    I always tell my partners in casual sex that I automatically assume they're HIV positive and they should assume I am too. I take the appropriate precautions and have a lot of fun, and neither of us are at risk. It does take all the judgment out of it.

    A key element in practicing Safe Sex is just this point - assuming EVERY man you meet is poz. And may have other STIs, as well.

    Some guys won't even know their own HIV status, and want to believe they're negative. Either they aren't testing, or not testing often enough. And don't forget the "black out window" of delay before the HIV markers appear in the blood following infection. A window in which a guy will test negative, but already be infectious.

    Because the most commonly used tests are reporting HIV status from 3 to 6 months in the past, NOT today, unless it immediately comes up positive. Which would mean the HIV has been there for longer than 3 to 6 months.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Oct 15, 2014 4:14 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    Or you take accountability for your own safety and for your own health by asking the person, or rather the stranger you're about to sleep with, if he has HIV.

    You can get on your high horse all that you want. But just remember that for a lot of people; hooking up with someone for sex that you have only met just moments ago at a bar or a club or a bathhouse is considered to be morally bankrupt as well.

    If you simply made the assumption that the person you are with might have HIV, since you don't know him very well in the first place, then you would use the protection necessary in order to avoid getting HIV. It really is that simple. There is no need for judgements.


    bullshit, the onus is on the infected party

    as for hooking up at a bathhouse with someone you just met and having unsafe sex - it's just beyond stupid
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    Oct 15, 2014 4:36 PM GMT
    What ever happened to personal responsibility? It's my responsibly to keep myself safe. People lie. And half of guys who are positive don't know it.
    Why single out HIV for prosecution? Why not prosecute all non-disclosure?
  • 5100s

    Posts: 188

    Oct 15, 2014 7:09 PM GMT
    JimiB saidWhat ever happened to personal responsibility? It's my responsibly to keep myself safe. People lie. And half of guys who are positive don't know it.
    Why single out HIV for prosecution? Why not prosecute all non-disclosure?


    That's the crux of the matter: people lie, even about serious things, even about serious things that can really hurt other people. That's why since the mid-1980s when I started to take HIV seriously I decided I had to assume everybody was HIV positive, because I knew a certain percentage of men would lie to me, or, as pointed out above, would be ignorant of their status.
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    Oct 15, 2014 8:03 PM GMT
    5100s said
    JimiB saidWhat ever happened to personal responsibility? It's my responsibly to keep myself safe. People lie. And half of guys who are positive don't know it.
    Why single out HIV for prosecution? Why not prosecute all non-disclosure?


    That's the crux of the matter: people lie, even about serious things, even about serious things that can really hurt other people. That's why since the mid-1980s when I started to take HIV seriously I decided I had to assume everybody was HIV positive, because I knew a certain percentage of men would lie to me, or, as pointed out above, would be ignorant of their status.


    Add to that....
    If you don't get tested and don't KNOW, you can not be prosecuted for knowingly having HIV.

    But an tested HIV person can be prosecuted for "transmission' even if it didn't occur!
  • Sincityfan

    Posts: 409

    Oct 15, 2014 11:47 PM GMT
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period

    So true.

    A lot of people are just so misinformed these days that they feel you cannot pass it if you're "undetectable," or on Truvada. It's probably why you see so many "Safer sex?: Always" guys going around town barebacking until the cows come home.
    "aww, I forgot the condoms."
    "You're neg right?"
    -but not saying anything if not asked isn't nearly as bad as flat out lying about it. Now they are truly deplorable individuals.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Oct 16, 2014 7:30 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    tj85016 said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    tj85016 saidit's morally repugnant not to tell someone you're HIV+ before you have sex with them - period


    Or you take accountability for your own safety and for your own health by asking the person, or rather the stranger you're about to sleep with, if he has HIV.

    You can get on your high horse all that you want. But just remember that for a lot of people; hooking up with someone for sex that you have only met just moments ago at a bar or a club or a bathhouse is considered to be morally bankrupt as well.

    If you simply made the assumption that the person you are with might have HIV, since you don't know him very well in the first place, then you would use the protection necessary in order to avoid getting HIV. It really is that simple. There is no need for judgements.


    bullshit, the onus is on the infected party

    as for hooking up at a bathhouse with someone you just met and having unsafe sex - it's just beyond stupid


    Well then, stop hooking up and being a whore who "sometimes" engages in sex with condoms.

    If your gonna drop your panties and let some guy you barely know fuck you without a condom the 'onus' is on your unprotected anus. Unless you are raped you are responsible for your own ass.



    Who says I hook-up? I don't. And "sometimes" referred to when I was in a relationship when both of us were recently tested.
  • NealJohn

    Posts: 184

    Oct 16, 2014 2:54 PM GMT
    Sorry but I think this is one law that should stay right where it is. This poor man, like many people in the legal system, is being wrongly accused but that doesn't mean there is a flaw with the law. Not telling someone you have HIV before any sexual activity is morally repugnant, and if it were up to me the death penalty would be called for in such situations
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    Oct 16, 2014 4:05 PM GMT
    NealJohn saidSorry but I think this is one law that should stay right where it is. This poor man, like many people in the legal system, is being wrongly accused but that doesn't mean there is a flaw with the law. Not telling someone you have HIV before any sexual activity is morally repugnant, and if it were up to me the death penalty would be called for in such situations


    Just because something is morally repugnant doesn't mean it should be illegal. From a public health standpoint it makes no sense to punish someone for behaving responsibility- undetectable viral load on treatment. And you can sputter about blips and semen viral counts being different all you want. The science is pretty definitive- no transmission with an undetectable viral load. So if you are undetectable and use a condom you do not belong in jail! You should be honest and upfront about your status. But nondisclosure shouldn't be a crime. Otherwise you're disincentivizing people to KNOW their status in the first place.
  • Sincityfan

    Posts: 409

    Oct 16, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    tj85016 said
    Who says I hook-up? I don't. And "sometimes" referred to when I was in a relationship when both of us were recently tested.

    That's what they all say.
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    Oct 16, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    NealJohn saidSorry but I think this is one law that should stay right where it is. This poor man, like many people in the legal system, is being wrongly accused but that doesn't mean there is a flaw with the law. Not telling someone you have HIV before any sexual activity is morally repugnant, and if it were up to me the death penalty would be called for in such situations


    Even the Justice Department disagrees with discriminatory HIV laws.

    July 17, 2014
    (I include the date because HIV related information is changing rapidly).

    Now on the heels of that study, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has released a “best practices” guide for states, suggesting they take a route similar to Iowa’s. From the DOJ report:

    Generally, the best practice would be for states to reform these laws to eliminate HIV-specific criminal penalties except in two distinct circumstances. First, states may wish to retain criminal liability when a person who knows he/she is HIV positive commits a (non-HIV specific) sex crime where there is a risk of transmission (e.g., rape or other sexual assault). The second circumstance is where the individual knows he/she is HIV positive and the evidence clearly demonstrates that individual’s intent was to transmit the virus and that the behavior engaged in had a significant risk of transmission, whether or not transmission actually occurred.

    For states that choose to retain HIV-specific criminal laws or penalty enhancements beyond these two limited circumstances, the best practice would be to reform and modernize them so that they accurately reflect the current science of risk and modes of transmission, the quality of life and life span of individuals who are living with HIV, account for circumstances where the failure to disclose is directly related to intimate partner violence, and ensure they are the desired vehicle to achieve the states’ intended purpose in enacting them initially or retaining them in modernized form.

    To summarize: The DOJ is recommending state HIV notification and transmission laws take into account intent to spread and actual modern risk factors.
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    Oct 16, 2014 8:01 PM GMT
    NealJohn saidSorry but I think this is one law that should stay right where it is. This poor man, like many people in the legal system, is being wrongly accused but that doesn't mean there is a flaw with the law. Not telling someone you have HIV before any sexual activity is morally repugnant, and if it were up to me the death penalty would be called for in such situations


    So you think the punishment, a death sentence, fit's the crime of not transmitting HIV? Please explain the rationale for that, it should be real interesting!

    You acknowledged he's been wrongly accused, but think upping the ante to death makes sense. Advocating death for innocent people can never make sense.
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    Oct 16, 2014 8:39 PM GMT
    You have bent the truth to suit Timm55 and probably have manipulated the facts this time as well. Can you find me the stats which compare the true effectiveness of the laws which would be lower infection rates. I would think legally having to disclose would reduce the HIV rates. What about the states that don't have it like California
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    Oct 16, 2014 9:17 PM GMT
    Until I hear an authoritative source say that there zero chance of transmitting HIV in any way other than condom-less sex (such as by kissing a partner with a cold sore, for example) I will assume that the possibility exists my partner can "accidentally" transmit the disease to me. If I accept that risk when entering into the relationship then so be it, but if my partner misled me then I infer that "informed consent" is lacking. I can't even find agreement that HIV cannot be transmitted by oral sex so what confidence should I have that "non-detectable" means impossible to transmit? What if something changes? How would I know? In that case I support criminal charges when someone lies about their status.

    Having said that sending someone to jail who didn't transmit the virus seems ridiculous. Thirty years?! Offensive to the convicted guy and almost as much to taxpayers stuck with the resulting cost of imprisonment.
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    Oct 16, 2014 10:24 PM GMT
    Sydneyrugbyjock73 saidYou have bent the truth to suit Timm55 and probably have manipulated the facts this time as well. Can you find me the stats which compare the true effectiveness of the laws which would be lower infection rates. I would think legally having to disclose would reduce the HIV rates. What about the states that don't have it like California


    I already posted your country's (Australia) new laws decriminalizing HIV.

    "Bent the truth"?

    "To suit me"?

    "manipulated the facts"?

    Go F yourself. Research it for yourself. But the last time you tried to refute me, you only reinforced TasP.

    Any discussion with you is over. If you start a conversation without acrimony it would be a welcome change.
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    Oct 17, 2014 7:16 AM GMT
    timmm55 said
    Sydneyrugbyjock73 saidYou have bent the truth to suit Timm55 and probably have manipulated the facts this time as well. Can you find me the stats which compare the true effectiveness of the laws which would be lower infection rates. I would think legally having to disclose would reduce the HIV rates. What about the states that don't have it like California


    I already posted your country's (Australia) new laws decriminalizing HIV.

    "Bent the truth"?

    "To suit me"?

    "manipulated the facts"?

    Go F yourself. Research it for yourself. But the last time you tried to refute me, you only reinforced TasP.

    Any discussion with you is over. If you start a conversation without acrimony it would be a welcome change.


    As your fear is obviously so great you will never accept that you are wrong as you are using denial as a coping mechanism so please seek some help. BTW

    I don't live in Victoria and they have a state election and almost all governments are of the socially conservative variety (since 2011) previously almost all liberal in their leanings not to be confused with the 'liberal party who are ironically deeply conservative with many religious zealots in them so guess again buddy it won't happen.

    More likely is that support for poz people will be de-funded on mass and won't people be so happy then sic. NOT

    I really wish poz people of which I have had as lovers, bf and friends to get the best treatment there is but there is no trade off with risking the health of the majority of the population just because you are angry HIV neg guys won't BB for an openly poz guy