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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 1 - 15 (of 44 total)
Theresa Kenney, cicinnati, 2013-09-20 10:03:45
Until we put face to HIV the the general publics reactions to HIV will never change. HIV is not talked about like it was in the late 80's early 90's. It time to bring AWARENESS back and EDUCATE the on HIV
sheila, st. louis, 2013-08-16 20:16:06
Murder...I am tired of being called a potential murderer. That criminalization thing is just an excuse for irresponsible people who choose to have sex without a condom. Are non positives obligated to tell me their history of of sti/stds? Some of those can kill go untreated. Sorry, if I sound a little off but, I didn't read the entire article. In closing the cigarette makers should also suffer some sort alleged crime. We all know that can lead to death as well. Sounds crazy huh?
Scary Laws, USA, 2012-01-05 21:37:47
The longer you wait the more criminalization will occur the uneducated are still talking about mass isolation is the only way to cure this virus, but that is just not medically true, yet, people still think that if they have contact with you they might "catch" something, education is the only answer to this problem, if we do nothing, it will only get worse, soon if you just "Think" about having a physical relationship you will need to get a legal agreement signed, think that is crazy think again
allen, flint, 2011-08-10 01:53:40
First off let me say i have been posiative since 2003 while i my self would never have sex with anyone with out disclsing my status I dont blame the guy who infected me i was a grown adult i knew the risk i was taking and regretably choose to take it so how can i blame any one but myself also crimnalizing hiv only stops people from getting tested if they dont know then they cant be convicted that is crazy
Patrick, Charlotte, 2011-08-05 15:12:41
All of this makes me feel like committing suicide. Laws in my state that I MUST use condoms. I feel this is a violation of my right of privacy. I should have been in jail long ago if this were the case. What about HIV positive people that have sex with other HIV positive people and DO NOT USE CONDOMS? In this state they should be jailed. What about all who openly talk about bareback sex that are positive. It makes me mad that the government is violating MY RIGHTS OF PRIVACY In the bedroom.
MikeR, Altanta, 2011-05-26 15:09:45
I think if they know and have sex unprotected they should be prosecuted, but even more so if they are asked their status and lie about it. I never was angry at the woman who passed it to me, because I sincerely don't believe she was aware of it. I was involved in the decision to have unprotected sex. If I had asked, she said no and then I got infected, then she should be arrested. To me it is not nearly as complicated as the article indicates.
Frederick Wright, Tampa, 2010-08-18 18:35:35
Wow.. a lot of angry in the words below, and glad I have a number one and only for having sex is a bit dangerous for the community might stone a person to death. In the old days of having sex in the 80's in learning free sex concepts from the other sexual humans in the commnity, you know Love, Free Love or Sexing (oh wrong erra) If a person became HIV, we would not blame our sex partners for we would love them and take care of them. But again that was pre knowledge of the ethics one epects now.
Miguel AKA PRMike, Kissimmee FL, 2010-06-28 11:12:04
I have been Positive for almost 30 yrs co9me this Oct and I make sure that I tell the woman my Status and if she is Negitive (Hiv-) and still wants to have sex with me I will ask her to sign a piece of paper stating that I informed her of my Status, I need to cover myself because there are a lot of people that when they get angry with you they'll try to hurt you by using your Status against you...
Aaron, , 2010-05-15 12:10:56
I am in the middle of if it should be a crime or not. I had unprotected sex with a guy that told me that he was HIV negative, when in reality he had been positive for years. I am thankful everyday that I am negative. I have forgiven him as well. But I mean did he really not think there was a possiblity of me not getting HIV? I understand the fear of rejection and stigma. But silence and people not being honest is what is causing so many new infections.
Regina, Louisiana, 2010-03-23 08:31:46
The spin that the opposition to criminalization presents to the negative and positive population is outrageous. How can anyone believe that sociopaths that would expose others to a deadly disease would not be tested or medically treated because of laws that prosecute their criminal behavior? Give me a break...people who are positive should disclose and if they don't, they should be prosecuted. This is what stops the spread of the disease.
lutton, , 2010-01-31 11:21:59
Criminalization of HIV is here to stay as long as human stupidity, negligence and wickedness are infinite. In addition, the virus is damn lethal, no cure and is treated with toxic chemicals in tablets. SAD SAD that some people kamikaze for some stupid uprotected sex while some people were deceived and hurt forever for some stupid sex . This virus is no good to have at all and I am happy I am not infected let alone going to court. Fortunately, I believe in safe sex since I was 18 at least.
toya, tennessee, 2009-12-12 19:19:25
loretta of chicago. There is a catch 22 to your dilema. How can he tell the police you endangered his life with HIV if you didn;t tell him. If you don't tell then he wouldn't know. I was infected by a partner who knew he was + and failed to disclose. I don't hate him nor did I prosecute him. I thank God he allowed the development of antiretrovials to combat this virus so I can continue his quest.
david, bronx ny, 2009-11-06 20:19:18
Well personally i think there should be a law in ny that there should be some notification to a sexual partner.. i was with my fiance three years and if i didnt find the pills by accident i would never have found out. plus if i would have ever came out positive in the future she would have gotten tested then in front of me and blames it on me.. can you imagine??? c'mon now luckily so far i have tested negetive but really now are you telling me someone like that doesnt belong in prison? ist not
Ruby, England, 2009-11-06 19:30:42
STOP making excuses 4 those who use this virus as a weapon against others.It is the people(male & female) KNOWINGLY transmitting HIV that are causing the rest of us + people to still have to deal with stigma in 2009.Do not try & blame the people who are brave & courageous enough to stand up, be counted & risk stigma themselves, by prosecuting. I was purposely infected by a man who knew his status, and went on to use it against me as a part of a domestic violence campaign.
Concernedin Sacramento, sacramento, 2009-11-04 17:43:23
comments 1 - 15 (of 44 total)
Disclosure of a persons HIV status should be public information, as well as all the other STDs. Doctors & clinics should be required by law to notify a public database of all people that test positive for any STD with there names age and race & city. Also require everyone that tests positive for STDs to notify the database if theu relocate. When dealing with STDs especially HIV theres no such thing as protected sex, its like plating russian roulette.