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by Jennifer MortonRegan HofmannOriol R. Gutierrez Jr.
DON'T THROW AWAY THE KEY
The following are comments posted on POZ.com by readers in response to various news stories and opinion pieces on the subject of criminalizing people living with HIV.
It’s a shame that we have to live in a world where we’re afraid to start relationships for fear that we’ll end up in jail and be treated like murderers.
Living in Fear, NY
It should only be unlawful for someone with HIV to knowingly and intentionally fail to disclose to a partner before engaging in any sexual activity that carries a reasonable risk of transmission. If no infection is transmitted, it should not be criminalized.
David, Helsingborg, Sweden
I believe that people should never take the risk of unprotected sex with someone they do not know, and if they do, and get HIV, they only have themselves to blame and should not be able to prosecute anyone.
Michael Haslett, city withheld
Both parties are responsible for his or her own sexual safety. Why does the responsibility fall on the person who is positive? There is a moral responsibility for a positive person to not deliberately infect a negative person, but outside of rape, you cannot infect a person that doesn’t allow it.
Greg, Davenport, FL
Criminalizing people for just having HIV/AIDS is outrageous. But purposely infecting someone should be a crime. I hope they really clarify what constitutes a crime and what doesn’t as far as HIV and AIDS is concerned.
IamStone, Mulberry AR
I was assaulted by an aggressive driver, who during his assault poked his finger in my mouth. I bit him causing a laceration. I was charged with assault, and there were prosecutors who wanted me charged with Iowa’s AIDS battery law. There was no intent, and no real risk of transmission—yet HIV was still allowed as an issue at trial.
Donald Baxter, Iowa City
I’ve known [unsafe sex] to happen a few times when drugs/alcohol is involved. Even if someone insists they “don’t care,” I use a condom. It’s a pact I made with myself from the beginning.
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comments 16 - 30 (of 44 total)
miguel, Kissimmee FL, 2009-11-04 11:26:46
Hi Trish Yes I do think that they should be Charged if you were to come up with any other diecease and I'm glad that you stood up for yourself and did not let them get away with raping you please stay strong as always a friend PRMike
Miguel aka PRMike, Kissimmee FL, 2009-11-04 10:34:44
Hi Trish in responce to this question- if I were to get an STD from them (if they have one), should they be prosecuted for not disclosing that fact when they violated me against my will? BTW, they are in jail. I wasn't letting them get away this. NO WAY!
I would say Yes they should get charged because they have harmed you in another way not only by raping you but by giving you something I'm also glad that you stood up and made them pay for what they did to you Stay Strong always PRMike
Trish Steen, Kansas City,MO, 2009-11-03 11:06:10
In Missouri the law states you must disclose HIV status with a sexual partner even if a condom is used. Recently I was raped by two thugs. I disclosed my status to them hoping they wouldn't do anything to me, I was wrong... they said they didn't care about that. Stupid Morons! So if I were to get an STD from them (if they have one), should they be prosecuted for not disclosing that fact when they violated me against my will? BTW, they are in jail. I wasn't letting them get away this. NO WAY!
Jose, Miami, 2009-10-22 21:45:42
ANYONE who does not know how HIV is transmitted either was in coma the last 20 years or from another planet. It all comes down to personal responsibility period. If you have - consensual - unprotected sex you risk getting HIV, other STD's, etc. It is the fault of BOTH parties. Automatically the laws persecute the HIV+ person BUT the other person stupidly put themselves at direct risk. In this day and age, you must assume EVERYONE has something!
PozBiker, Long Beach, 2009-10-17 10:10:04
I contracted HIV from a person who did not disclose to me. I take my responsibility too, for I did not force the issue of protection. While it's no defense, I was naive about how HIV is transmitted. BUT, people like him should be held accountable for infecting people, He knew his status, I later found out. I also know of many guys on a gay dating sex personals site who claim to be negative, practice bareback sex, but who are positive. People like these folks should be jailed.
Chris, The Forsaken Midwest (less than a year remaining), 2009-10-14 22:55:52
It is funny how those living with HIV are prosecuted relentlessly without reserve. What is interesting, is what if someone who is HIV-positive contracts an STI from a HIV-negative person? Because we have a compromised immune system, do we get to prosecute? Technically, there is a far greater risk to our health than theirs...and yet we have no recourse! It seems as those who are HIV-negative get a free pass in regards to responsibility! They do not have to be ACCOUNTABLE for their choices!
Mike, New York, NY, 2009-10-13 08:24:12
ERRR, this country is becoming more an more like living in a Fascist State. If it's not criminalizing HIV, it's something else! Obama is just a puppet for this system of control and the only thing we have left to do is stand up, grab our brothers and charge the gates. It's time the Gay community got off their spoiled asses and rainbow painted parade floats and took a real stand, risking life and safety.
Bradley Fowler, Rex, 2009-10-09 00:15:09
I am taken aback by such ignorance when it pertains to this epidemic. As a result, I have taken the initiative to compose a book that will not only improve the method which those who are positive disclose their diagnoses with others, I share me own personal testimony on how I shared my diagnoses with potential partners and family. This book will be available sometimes next month. Email me at positivelightforliving at gmail.com to reserve your copy. Also can speak at any affair or up coming event
Baby Peaknut, , 2009-10-08 22:22:05
It was a mercy killing--he had a certain naive charm, but...
Nichole, Brooklyn, NY, 2009-10-08 18:08:30
What ever happened to personal responsiblity? People should wear condoms to begin with. Sure if i know i have HIV I should let others know, but its the next persons own fault for not putting one on to begin with. What if two HIV+ persons have sex with eachother without disclosure, who goes to jail then?!?
AR, , 2009-10-08 14:27:35
I bring my gf (whom I disclosed to) to appointments and introduce her to my providers whenever the opportunity presents itself. I don't think she would ever claim I didn't disclose my status to her; in fact, she is incredibly supportive. However, this is a pretty good method to preventing any claims of non-disclosure and your partner gets to be supportive. Just think of it, "Well mame, (or sir) what did you think you were doing with your partner in an AIDS clinic?"
Maya, , 2009-10-07 08:46:35
And to continue with the last post--intent to infect and proven transmission should be the only way it should be criminilized.It also should be able to be taken into account for rapes.Hiv neg people should treat every person as if they have HIV-sort of like the universal precautions we take in health care.There is no excuse for them to do otherwise-even if someone says they are HIV neg, there is absolutely no reason to beieve them unless you see a negative test on paper.
Maya, , 2009-10-07 08:43:48
The laws need to be updated.I had an ex that tried to say I endangered him by not telling him my status, even though I did tell him and we used condoms every time.He was just trying to get back at me for breaking up with him.This is the unintended consequences of these laws and why it makes people less likely to tell,because if you have a broad law and people can use it against you for whatever reason,why tell?And why can HIV-people sleep around with no consequences as if they had no part?
stuart, Omaha, 2009-10-06 18:55:06
I would never disclouse to anyone my status, or who my partners have been. I don't tell anybody about any of my illnesses period. What investagative information I have given to doctors, judges, lawyers, employers have always been false information. How many people tell others they have diabetes, or had cancer in the families if they even know. If they do, chances of them getting employed or staying employed are real slim, because being able to aquire healh /life insurance.
Lou, CA, 2009-10-04 16:40:06
comments 16 - 30 (of 44 total)
Why must we lay blame? If you're negative, take steps to stay that way. Ask your partner's status. If you engage in behavior that puts you at risk, then the possibility of transmission is something for you to own. Your partner's lack of disclosure is a sad excuse for your failure to take care of yourself. Always assume your partner is positive and behave is manner that suits your definition of "safer" sex.