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Man who knowingly spread HIV going to jail

The judge blasted Thomas Guerra for his lack of remorse.

Thomas Miguel Guerra, who also goes by the name Ashton Chavez, 30, pleaded no contest to violating a health code that says “any person afflicted with any contagious, infectious or communicable disease who willfully exposes himself or herself to another person” is guilty of a misdemeanor.

But before sentencing by Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis, Guerra disavowed his plea. He said he never lied to the man who reported him to San Diego police after he learned that Guerra was HIV-positive.

“I would never, ever do something like I’m being accused of,” Guerra said. “I did not rape this person.” Advertisement

Lewis gave Guerra the maximum sentence.

“We hope this tragic case helps to educate people that they have a legal obligation – as well as a moral and ethical obligation – to inform their sex partners of their HIV status,” said City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, whose office brought the charge.

Investigators found text messages and videos in which Guerra laughed about lying to sex partners. Guerra said that he had been joking.

According to court documents, Guerra told a man that he was HIV negative when the two, after meeting in an online dating site, had unprotected sex during a romance that lasted several months in 2013.

Deputy City Atty. Jill Cristich said that the man was infected by Guerra: “The victim’s life is shortened. He was deceived.”

The victim, whose name was not mentioned in court, said that now that he has AIDS, he is taking “an outrageous number of medications.”

A hearing was set for June 3 on the issue of whether Guerra should be required to pay the victim’s medical costs.

Springfield, Missouri State, USA: Man charged with infecting woman with HIV, then trying to pay her off

2019-May-09

A Springfield man has been accused of infecting a woman with HIV and then offering her money to not cooperate with law enforcement.

Marcus Price, 36, was charged Wednesday with two felonies — tampering with a witness in a felony prosecution and recklessly infecting another person with HIV.

The HIV charge is a Class A felony that carries a possible life sentence.

According to a probable cause statement in this case, Price has been HIV positive since at least 2010, when he tested positive in Illinois.

In March 2018, the statement says Price had unprotected sex with a woman in Springfield without telling her he was HIV positive.

The woman was hospitalized later that month, and she learned she was HIV positive. The woman had been tested a few months earlier and she did not have any sexually transmitted infections, according to the statement.



Waterford, Wisconsin State, USA: Man failed to tell sex partners he was HIV-positive

2019-Jan-11

WATERFORD, Wis. — A Waterford man is accused of failing to tell six people he was HIV-positive before having unprotected sex with them.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney says 42-year-old Jason Taufner is charged with six counts of recklessly endangering safety. He faces a maximum penalty of 84 years in prison.

The criminal complaint says one of his victims has tested HIV-positive since having sex with him.

Taufner had allegedly met four of his victims at a tattoo shop in West Allis where he was working.

Taufner has been prosecuted and convicted twice previously for the same crime. Authorities say that asa condition of his last sentence, he was ordered to inform any sexual partner of his HIV status.

A phone number for Taufner could not be found.



Atlantic County, New Jersey State, USA: Galloway man charged with knowingly infecting man with HIV

man charged with knowingly infecting man with HIV

2019-May

Galloway Township man is accused of giving a man a sexually transmitted disease after failing to disclose he was HIV positive.
Anthony Hargrove, 36, was charged Thursday with three criminal counts, including aggravated assault.
Hargrove was arrested last month in a separate case in which he allegedly punched and threatened a man outside the Cathedral Grace Family Church.

“Ooops… he did it again!” Galloway man charged with exposing second man to HIV

2019-Oct
Galloway Township man already charged with knowingly infecting a man with HIV is now accused of failing to disclose his medical history before having unprotected sex with a second man.
Anthony Hargrove, 36, was charged last week with committing “an act of sexual penetration without the informed consent of the other person while knowingly infected…,” according to a complaint obtained by BreakingAC.
He is scheduled to be in court Oct. 30.
Hargrove already faces charges filed this past May, after another man was allegedly infected in 2016.
It is not clear whether the second man became infected.

The victim in that case said he was in a relationship with Hargrove but the two have had issues, according to the complaint obtained by BreakingAC.com. He was released from jail as those charges go through the system.
Now, Hargrove is accused of failing to disclose he was HIV positive before having sex with a man, who was infected.
Hargrove is accused of committing “an act of sexual penetration knowing that he is infected with a sexually transmitted disease” and for “knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical welfare of the victim.”

HIV criminalisation cases recorded in 72 countries, including 49 in the last four years

Disproportionate number of cases in Belarus, the Czech Republic and New Zealand

HIV criminalisation continues: a global review has found that HIV-related arrests, investigations, prosecutions and convictions have ever occurred in at least 72 countries, with recent cases occurring in 49 countries, including 14 in which the law appeared to be applied for the first time.

The HIV Justice Network’s review concerns cases in which either the criminal or similar law is applied to people living with HIV based on HIV-positive status, either via HIV-specific criminal statutes (29 countries), general criminal or similar laws (37 countries), or both (6 countries). Such laws typically criminalise non-disclosure of HIV status to a sexual partner, potential or perceived exposure to HIV, or transmission of HIV.

HIV criminalisation “is a pervasive illustration of how state-sponsored stigma and discrimination works against a marginalised group of people with immutable characteristics,” says HIV Justice Network. “As well as being a human rights issue of global concern, HIV criminalisation is a barrier to universal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.”

Between October 2015 and December 2018, at least 913 people living with HIV were arrested, prosecuted, convicted or acquitted in 49 countries. The largest numbers of cases were reported in the Russian Federation (at least 314 cases), Belarus (249), United States (158), Ukraine (29), Canada (27), Zimbabwe (16), Czech Republic (15), United Kingdom (13), France (12) and Taiwan (11).

To estimate where the criminal law appears to be disproportionately applied, the researchers analysed the number of known recent cases according to the estimated number of diagnosed people living with HIV in a country. They identified 15 criminalisation hotspots: countries in which the number of cases was equal to or greater than 0.5 in 10,000 per capita of diagnosed individuals.

  • Belarus (139 in 10,000)
  • Czech Republic (55 in 10,000)
  • New Zealand (10 in 10,000)
  • Canada (4 in 10,000)
  • Sweden (4 in 10,000)
  • Russian Federation (3 in 10,000)
  • Taiwan (3 in 10,000)
  • Ukraine (2 in 10,000)
  • Australia (2 in 10,000)
  • Switzerland (2 in 10,000)
  • England and Wales (1 in 10,000)
  • Kazakhstan (1 in 10,000)
  • United States (1 in 10,000)
  • France (0.8 in 10,000)
  • Italy (0.5 in 10,000)

Their analysis suggests that recent HIV criminalisation cases do not reflect the demographics of local epidemics, with the likelihood of prosecution exacerbated by discrimination against marginalised populations on the basis of drug use, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, immigration status, sex work and/or sexuality. Cases in the United States also appear to disproportionately impact people already in the purview of the criminal justice system, such as prisoners, and people living in poverty, including homeless people, with a high number of cases related to ‘HIV exposure’ via biting or spitting during arrest or whilst incarcerated. Find out more in our About HIV pages

Recent reports of increased numbers of cases in sub-Saharan Africa and in Eastern Europe and Central Asia illustrate what advocates have long-feared: that women are more likely to be prosecuted (and less likely to have adequate legal representation), since they are often the first in a relationship to know their status as a result of routine HIV testing during pregnancy, and are less likely to be able to safely disclose their HIV-positive status to their partner due to gendered power inequalities. Women with HIV also face the possibility of being prosecuted for passing HIV on to their child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

In addition, migrants from high HIV prevalence regions (such as sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Europe) appear to be disproportionately prosecuted in Canada, northern and western Europe and Australasia, and usually have limited access to adequate legal representation. Non-citizens are also likely to be deported to their country of origin after serving their sentence even if they have family ties in their adopted country.

HIV-specific laws continue to exist in at least 75 countries, including many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (29 countries) and eastern Europe and Central Asia (18).

Cameron S & Bernard EJ. Advancing HIV Justice 3: Growing the global movement against HIV criminalisation. HIV Justice Network, Amsterdam, May 2019. (Report).

HIV+ Sichuan Man Sentenced to 3 years Prisonment for Prostitution and Spreading HIV 四川成都男子染愛滋後男女不拒 多次賣淫性交判囚3年罰萬元

Case in China Sichuan, Chengdu

2019-04-16

According to the internal media “Red Star News”, the AIDS prevention agency in Chengdu, Sichuan (called AIDS in the Mainland), the “AIDS Prevention Office” revealed that a local man surnamed Peng knew he was infected with HIV, but he still had sex with strange women many times. , And used social software to provide prostitution services to multiple men. He was recently sentenced to 3 years in prison for the crime of “transmitting sexually transmitted diseases” and fined 10,000 yuan (RMB. The same below).
According to the report, the man surnamed Peng knew that he was infected with the HIV virus and met strange women through various social software, and had sex with several strange women without taking safety precautions; he also used social software, Provide same-sex prostitution services to multiple men. According to the report, HIV has a long asymptomatic incubation period and strong concealment. Currently, it cannot be cured completely and has a high mortality rate. People living with HIV have the responsibility and obligation to regulate their behavior to prevent infection of others, and must not intentionally spread AIDS in any way.
The report reminds that people infected with HIV must still insist on safe sex. High-risk sex without condom use may be infected with different HIV genotypes, and may be infected with other STDs such as syphilis and gonorrhea, and even suffer criminal penalties. In addition, the public security and judicial organs have severely cracked down on illegal activities such as prostitution and whoring.
According to the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s “Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Handling of Criminal Cases of Organizing, Coercing, Luring, Staying, and Introducing Prostitution”, if you know that you have AIDS or are infected with HIV, if you cause others to be infected with AIDS The virus is convicted and punished with “intentional injury”.

中国四川成都新聞 2019-04-16

據內媒《紅星新聞》報道,四川成都的愛滋病(內地稱艾滋病)防治機關「防艾辦」透露,當地一名彭姓男子明知自己感染愛滋病毒,但仍多次與陌生女性發生性關係,並利用社交軟件,向多名男子提供賣淫服務。他日前被依「傳播性病罪」判處有期徒刑3年,並處罰金1萬元(人民幣.下同)。

報道指,彭姓男子在明知自己感染了愛滋病毒的情況下,通過多種社交軟件結識陌生女性,在未採取安全防範措施的情況下,與多名陌生女性發生性行為;他還通過社交軟件,向多名男性提供同性賣淫服務。

報道介紹,愛滋病病毒的無症狀潛伏期長、隱蔽性強,現時無法完全治癒,病死率高。愛滋病病毒感染者有責任和義務規範自己的行為,防止感染他人,不得以任何方式故意傳播愛滋病。

報道提醒,感染愛滋病病毒者依然要堅持安全性行為,沒有全程使用安全套的高危性行為可能會感染不同的HIV基因亞型,還有機會感染上梅毒、淋病等其他性病,甚至遭受刑事處罰。此外,公安、司法機關嚴厲打擊賣淫、嫖娼等違法行為。

根據最高法、最高檢2017年7月發布的《關於辦理組織、強迫、引誘、容留、介紹賣淫刑事案件適用法律若干問題的解釋》,明知自己患有愛滋病或感染愛滋病病毒,若致使他人感染愛滋病病毒,則以「故意傷害罪」定罪處罰。

HIV+ Predator Got 4 years Prison Sentence for Having Sex with a 14yo Boy 愛滋男導師與14歲男童肛交判囚4年 官斥極度自私

Case in Hong Kong

2020-05-29

A HIV+ and syphilis 33-year-old private tutoring male teacher who groomed a 14-year-old boy via Instagram chatting then he lured the boy twice to come to his door to receive “free massages”. During the three times he did not use condoms. Xia forced anal sex with the boy, and published nude photos of the boy online. He earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of same-sex buggery with a man under the age of 16 and one count of publishing child pornography. Judge Peng Baoqin directly denounced the defendant for his extremely selfish behavior and a moderately high chance of repeat offenses. He was eventually sentenced to 4 years in prison.

The report stated that the 33-year-old defendant Zhang Bolin denied having pedophilia, but admitted that he fell in love with boys at first sight, enjoyed having sex with boys who showed submissiveness, and deliberately did not use condoms for his sexual excitement. Zhang said that he published indecent photos to share his sexual experience, so that other netizens could feel his sexual charm and regarded it as a way to find sexual partners. Zhang has a strong desire for control and self-centeredness. He regards boys as casual sexual objects and has a moderately high chance of recidivism.

Peng Guan pointed out that the age gap between Zhang and the boy was 17 years. The boy had been suicidal and suffering from traumatic sequelae a month after the incident. The boy’s mother also blamed himself very much. Zhang released the boy’s sex photos, even more so. It is extremely selfish to ignore the health risks of boys without using condoms when they know they are carriers of AIDS and syphilis.

香港新聞 2020-05-29

33歲報稱任職私人補習老師的愛滋病及梅毒的男帶菌者,透過Instagram與14歲男童網聊後,引誘男童兩度願意上門接受「免費按摩」,期間三次在沒有使用避孕套的情況下強行與男童肛交,更在網上發佈男童裸照。他早前承認兩項與16歲以下男子作出同性肛交罪及一項發布兒童色情物品罪,彭寶琴法官直斥被告行為極度自私,重犯機會屬中度偏高,終判其監禁4年。

報告指33歲被告張柏麟否認有孌童癖,但承認對男童一見鍾情,享受與表現服從的男童發生性關係,亦為其性興奮而故意不使用避孕套。張指自己公布不雅相片是為了分享性經驗,令其他網民感受其性魅力並視為尋找性伴的方法。張控制慾強及自我中心,把男童視為隨便的性對象,重犯機會屬中度偏高。

彭官指張與男童年齡差距達17年,男童在案發後一個月一直有自殺傾向並患上創傷後遺症,男童母親亦非常自責,張對外發布男童的性愛照片,更在自知是愛滋病及梅毒帶菌者的情況下不使用避孕套,漠視男童健康風險的行為屬極度自私。

HIV Transmission, a 3 to 7 years Felony Sentence

Case

Sarah Smith is a 19-year-old student at a state university in Illinois. As part of a blood drive at her school, she donated blood for the first time in February. In late March, Sarah learned from the Red Cross that her blood had tested positive for HIV. Shocked by the news, Sarah did not tell anyone she was HIV positive or visit her physician.

Since learning of her HIV-positive status, Sarah began several relationships, engaging in unprotected sex with male students at the university. At no time did Sarah inform any of her partners of her HIV status. One of Sarah’s partners later tested positive for HIV at the university health clinic. The man then listed Sarah as one of his sexual partners to the Health Department counselors.

Following up on the case, the counselors interviewed Sarah who admitted to engaging in unprotected sex with several men without informing them of her HIV status. The Health Department then notified the police and Sarah was arrested.

Commentary

Under Illinois law, Sarah can be charged with a Class 2 felony: criminal transmission of HIV [1]. (A Class 2 felony carries a possible sentence of 3 to 7 years.) A person can be charged with criminal transmission of HIV when “he or she, knowing that he or she is infected with HIV: (1) engages in intimate contact with another; (2) transfers, donates, or provides his or her blood tissue, semen, organs, or other potentially infectious body fluids for transfusion, transplantation, insemination, or other administration to another.” The statute defines “intimate contact with another” as “exposure of the body of one person to bodily fluid of another person in a manner that could result in the transmission of HIV.”

The statute does not require that actual HIV infection take place in order for someone to have committed criminal transmission of HIV. In addition, under the law a person is not guilty of criminal transmission of HIV if the person exposed knew both that the infected person was HIV positive, and that he or she could be infected as a result, and consented to the action.

In this case, Sarah meets the criteria for the criminal transmission of HIV and can therefore be charged with commission of the crime. Aware of her HIV-positive status, Sarah engaged in intimate contact with other persons without informing them of her HIV status. It cannot therefore be argued that they knowingly consented to the action.

While HIV transmission statutes are common in many states, the Illinois law has been the subject of a great deal of criticism and controversy. One major criticism is that the statute requires that the person know he or she is infected with HIV but does not define what constitutes such knowledge. It remains unclear if “knowledge” requires an actual positive test result or if symptoms of the disease would be sufficient.

The statute has also been criticized because of the unclear definition of the term “body fluid.” Besides blood tissue, semen, or organs, what other, if any, body fluids qualify? Saliva, urine, tears? Does the body fluid have to have been proven to actually transmit the disease? This question is made even more ambiguous by the statute’s use of the word “could” in its definition of “intimate contact”; intimate contact is “exposure of one body to the bodily fluid of another person in a manner that could result in the transmission of HIV.” Again, it is not clear whether the bodily fluid must be a scientifically proven route of HIV transmission in order for the infected person to be guilty of criminal “intimate contact.”

These criticisms have formed the basis for challenges of the statute on the grounds that it is unconstitutionally vague. However both the Appellate Court of Illinois and the Supreme Court of Illinois have concluded that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague and is therefore valid.

Charlie Sheen reportedly caught on audio tape lying about his HIV status to former lover

There’s still shame, and stigma, that comes from HIV. Until we learn to fully accept ourselves for who we are, HIV status and all, disclosing to someone will never be easy.

Charlie Sheen reveals he is HIV-positive. (Screengrab: Today Show)

Los Angeles – Charlie Sheen allegedly told one of his former lovers his HIV-positive diagnosis is “none of your business” after they had “sex without the condom”.

The 50-year-old actor revealed his condition to the world last November, but according to a 35-minute audio recording uncovered by The National Enquirer and provided to Radar Online, one the star’s ex-lovers has claimed the former Two and a Half Men star initially told her he was “not infected”.

On the tape, the woman who recorded the conversation says: “Why did you tell me you were not infected?”

The guy, who the publication claims is Charlie, then replies: “Because it’s none of your fucking business, OK.”

The woman then responds: “But if I wanted to have sex without a condom … it’s my right to know.”

He then answered: “You shouldn’t want to.”

What’s more, he admits on the tape that they had “sex without the condom” and after informing the woman about his diagnosis he says: “I was noble enough to tell you.”

However, these claims do not match up with some of what Charlie told the world when he revealed he was HIV-positive in an interview on the Today show in November, and the tapes were reportedly recorded after that public TV revelation.

During the interview with the NBC show’s host Matt Lauer, the journalist asked Charlie: “Have you had unprotected sex on any occasion since your diagnosis?”

Charlie replied: “Yes, but the two people that I did that with were under the care of my doctor and they were completely warned ahead of time.”

Matt then asked: “Have you since the time of your diagnosis told every one of your sexual partners before you had a sexual encounter that you were HIV-positive?”

Charlie replied: “Yes, I have.”

Matt said: “No exception?”

Charlie added: “No exceptions.”

Sex, Lies and HIV: When What You Don’t Tell Your Partner Is a Crime

In the Interrogation Room With Nick Rhoades

Say you have HIV and pick a guy up online. You get together and use a condom during consensual sex. No virus is transmitted during the one-night stand. No harm, no foul?

What if you’re an HIV-positive woman who was in a relationship with a man who never became infected? Are you in the clear?

Not in Iowa. You can be sentenced to 25 years in prison and lifetime inclusion in the sex offender registry simply because you did not first tell your partner you had HIV.

Two people have been punished for non-disclosure in recent years. Nick Rhoades is among at least 15 people prosecuted under an Iowa law that essentially classifies people with HIV as carrying a deadly weapon. The other case pertains to Leslie Flaggs.

People with HIV have been sentenced to years or even decades in prison for having sex without telling their partners they’re infected, even when they practiced safe sex. Are these laws a deterrent to spreading the virus or could they actually fuel the epidemic?

Nick Rhoades was clerking at a Family Video store in Waverly, Iowa, one summer afternoon in 2008 when three armed detectives appeared, escorted him to a local hospital and ordered nurses to draw his blood. A dozen miles away, his mother and stepfather looked on as local sheriff’s deputies searched their home for drugs — not illegal drugs, but lifesaving prescription medications.

Lab results and a bottle of pills found in the Rhoades’ refrigerator confirmed the detectives’ suspicions: Nick Rhoades was HIV-positive.

Almost a year later, in a Black Hawk County courtroom, Judge Bradley Harris peered down at Rhoades from his bench.

“One thing that makes this case difficult is you don’t look like our usual criminals,” Harris said. “Often times for the court it is easy to tell when someone is dangerous. They pull the gun. They have done an armed robbery. But you created a situation that was just as dangerous as anyone who did that.”

The judge meted out Rhoades’ sentence: 25 years in prison.

His crime: having sex without first disclosing he had HIV.

Officially, the charge, buried in Chapter 709 of the Iowa code, is “criminal transmission of HIV.” But no transmission had occurred. The man Rhoades had sex with, 22-year-old Adam Plendl, had not contracted the virus.

That’s not a surprise, because Rhoades used a condom.

And medical records show he was taking antiviral drugs that suppressed his HIV, making transmission extremely unlikely. A national group of AIDS public health officials later submitted a brief estimating that the odds of Rhoades infecting Plendl were “likely zero or near zero.”

After his lawyers petitioned the court, Rhoades’ prison sentence was changed to five years’ probation. But for the rest of his life — he is 39 — he will remain registered as an aggravated sex offender who cannot be alone with anyone under the age of 14, not even his nieces and nephews.

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.”

Many law enforcement officials and legislators defend these laws, saying they deter people from spreading the virus and set a standard for disclosure and precautions in an ongoing epidemic.

“Shifting the burden of HIV disclosure from the infected person, who is aware of a known danger, to one who is completely unaware of their partner’s condition smacks of a ‘blame the victim’ sort of mentality,” Jerry Vander Sanden, a prosecutor in Linn County, Iowa, wrote in an email to ProPublica. “It would be like telling a rape victim that they should have been more careful.”

Even many people with HIV support the laws. In a recent survey of HIV-positive people in New Jersey, 90 percent said that people with the virus bore most of the responsibility to protect their partners. More than half approved of the kind of laws that resulted in Rhoades’ sentence.

But some health and legal experts say using criminal penalties to curtail the epidemic could backfire and fuel the spread of HIV. According to the CDC, 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV, but one-fifth of them don’t know it. And studies show that about half of newly infected people got the virus from those who didn’t know they had HIV. So relying on a partner to know, let alone disclose, their HIV status is a risky proposition.

The laws, these experts say, could exacerbate this problem: If people can be imprisoned for knowingly exposing others to HIV, their best defense may be ignorance. Such laws, then, provide a powerful disincentive for citizens to get tested and learn if they carry the virus.

The laws “place all of the responsibility on one party: the party that’s HIV-positive,” said Scott Schoettes, a lawyer who supervises HIV litigation for Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights advocacy group. “And they lull people who are not HIV-positive — or at least think they are not HIV-positive — into believing that they don’t have to do anything. They can just wait for their partner to reveal their status and not, instead, take steps to protect themselves.”

Schoettes also says that the laws unfairly single out HIV, further stigmatizing and reinforcing misconceptions about living with the virus.

“There’s no reason why we should be singling out HIV for this kind of treatment,” he said. “It’s based in just a lot of fear and misconception.”

Being HIV-positive can still carry a powerful stigma. Since July 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened at least 49 investigations into alleged HIV discrimination. The department has won settlements from state prisons, medical clinics, schools, funeral homes, insurance companies, day care centers and even alcohol rehab centers for discriminating against HIV-positive people. Individuals with HIV may also fear that news of their status will spread to third parties, leading to rejection, embarrassment or ostracism for themselves or even their loved ones.

In September, a disability rights group accused the Pea Ridge, Ark., school district of kicking out three siblings after officials learned that members of their family had HIV. The family’s lawyers declined to comment. The school district did not respond to requests for interviews but issued a statement acknowledging that it had “required some students to provide test results regarding their HIV status in order to formulate a safe and appropriate education plan for those children.”

In romantic or sexual settings, people with HIV often report fear of rejection, abandonment and stigmatization.

“My first girlfriend in middle school — her mom banned her from seeing me, and it took me five years before I felt comfortable to try again,” said Reed Vreeland, a 27-year-old New Yorker who was born with HIV. Vreeland works as the communications coordinator for the Sero Project, a nonprofit advocacy group that campaigns against HIV exposure laws, which it denounces as “HIV criminalization.”

In 2006, Vreeland started dating a classmate at Bard College in upstate New York. He disclosed his HIV status on their second date.

“What’s going through your head is being scared of being rejected,” he said. “It’s scary to give someone that power.”

Vreeland and his girlfriend continued to date. Last spring, they married at a ceremony in the Bronx. “It took me a long time to propose, because I thought I would die,” he recalled. “I was saying, ‘Well, OK, why should I propose if I’m scared of dying in 10 years? And if we do have a kid, then I might die and leave my kid without a father, like I grew up without a mother.’”

The fear is “choking” and “silencing,” he said. “You’re conscious that saying three letters will change the way people will see you.”

In some cases, people with HIV have been met with violence — and even death — after disclosing their status. Last month, in Dallas, 37-year-old Larry Dunn was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murdering his HIV-positive lover. Police said he used a kitchen knife to stab and kill Cicely Bolden, a 28-year-old mother of two, after she told him about her HIV status. “She killed me,” he told investigators, according to his arrest warrant, “so I killed her.”

Until recently, criminal punishment was virtually unheard of for infectious diseases other than HIV. Federal and state officials have the authority to quarantine the sick to contain epidemics, but this power was typically granted to health authorities, who are versed in the latest science, not police and prosecutors. Very few criminal statutes take aim at diseases. At least two states have catchall laws against exposing others to “communicable diseases,” but only if exposure happens through routes most commonly associated with HIV, such as sex, sharing needles or donating blood. And while some states have laws that specifically punish exposure to tuberculosis, syphilis or “venereal diseases,” HIV exposure is almost always punished more severely.

But since 2007, three states have added hepatitis B and C to laws criminalizing HIV exposure. Those diseases are most prevalent among the same groups of marginalized people most at risk for HIV: intravenous drug users; gay men, especially those who are black or Latino; and black women.

Yet the laws may be unnecessary. In rare cases when someone intentionally tries to spread a virus, prosecutors have been able to put them away using ordinary criminal laws, such as assault or reckless endangerment. In 1997, a New York man named Nushawn Williams was accused of deliberately infecting at least 13 people, including two underage girls, with HIV. Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape and one count of reckless endangerment. When his 12-year sentence ended in 2010, state officials kept him confined under laws that allow dangerous psychiatric patients to be locked up. He remains behind bars.

In Iowa, Rhoades’ case has prompted some lawmakers to reconsider whether exposing someone to HIV should carry such a heavy punishment.

“Putting somebody in prison for 25 years when they didn’t even transmit HIV is the most absurd thing that the state could be doing,” said Matt McCoy, an Iowa state senator who has introduced legislation to reduce the penalties. “It’s medieval.”

Even Plendl, the man Rhoades had sex with, thinks the law is too harsh. “Do I think he needs to be locked up forever?” Plendl asked. “No. Do I think these laws need to be revisited? Yes.”

The Man Used HIV As a Weapon – Full Episode

This powerful documentary tells the intimate and shocking accounts of five men who were abused by Daryll Rowe – the first ever person in the UK to be convicted after deliberately infecting men with HIV. The men in this film have waived their anonymity to speak publicly for the first time. Some have never told their families. And all have the same burning question: Why did he do it? 

These multiple perspectives build a gripping account of how, over 18 months, Daryll Rowe set out on a dangerous, nationwide campaign to trick men into having unprotected sex with him. We hear first-hand how he would lie about his HIV status, sabotage condoms and later send abusive text messages taunting them with the virus: ‘You have HIV. Lol.’ A total of 24 men reported him to the police, but nobody knows how many others Daryll Rowe slept with. 

Through candid and revealing testimonies, we not only explore the devastating effect of psychological abuse, but also the resilience of ordinary people. Alongside the men, we follow Daryll Rowe’s foster mother, Jacqui, as she tries to come to terms with – and to understand – her son’s crimes. But there is only one person who really has the answer: Daryll Rowe himself. Are we any closer to finding out why he did it? In a tense final showdown we speak to him in an attempt to understand and provide answers for those affected

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