October 9, 2009
HIV-Positive Sailor Sentenced for Consensual, Unprotected Sex
An HIV-positive U.S. Navy officer was sentenced to three months of confinement for having unprotected, consensual sex with two women who were aware of his status, The Virginian-Pilot reports. According to testimony in a court-martial at Norfolk Naval Station, neither women—one of whom is an ex-wife—contracted the virus.
Petty Officer 1st Class Steven R. Franklin, a 37-year-old aviation electronics technician, was sentenced to three months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and disobeying an order. Franklin was also demoted to seaman recruit. Additional charges—including adultery—were dropped as part of a plea request.
After being diagnosed with HIV in 2003, Franklin was ordered both verbally and in writing not to have unprotected sex, and he was required to disclose his status to all sexual partners. While he disclosed his status to both women before having sex, not using a condom was grounds for punishment.
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comments 16 - 27 (of 27 total)
Donna, West Covina, 2009-10-21 03:46:01
Goodness, If you are going to be selfish enough to have sex with an HIV- person, then at least have enough respect for them and use a rubber. In my perspective I believe it is okay to have sex with someone who is negative as long as you make sure to use protection, I am actually surprised that the girls still had sex knowing about his condition, but then again we think we are invincible until something really does happen to us. LOL
Bill, California, 2009-10-20 11:27:58
As a HIV/AIDS patient, I am appalled by the survey results of whether Franklin should be punished or not for consensual unprotected sex!!! 81% said NO??? What is going on with people???? He knew better and that HIV people are expected to uphold safe sex protocols! Should drunk drivers not be charged since their drinking was "consensual?" The ignorance of erradicating HIV is mind boggling. BE SAFE, PLAY SAFE or go to JAIL!!!
Blaine, Dallas, 2009-10-18 06:45:24
The government needs to get out of our consensual sexual lives. If you tell someone you are positive and they still want sex it's their body and their choice. Period. It's amazing that women can have a legal abortion but poz/neg sex is deemed immoral/illegal. Give me a break!
loca, , 2009-10-16 06:30:12
HIV+ person is in a position of trust if you read the text below.
Abuse of a position of Trust
All HIV+ should clearly understand the need to maintain appropriate boundaries in their dealings with HIV-. Intimate or sexual relationships between HIV+ and HIV- will be regarded as a grave breach of trust. Any sexual activity between a HIV+ and HIV- under or above 18 years of age may be a criminal offence.
rmjk, boston, 2009-10-13 18:48:35
I would hope thr reason for this officers punishment was disregarding a direct order.
His responsibility is to inform hispartners havingdone so both are consenual adults and decesions made by them are thier responsbilities not the morality police. Howevert being in the service and being ordered he has no choice in matter other then resign from the service or take punishnent for disobeying a direct order
SteveDiego, Southwest, 2009-10-13 18:26:13
The partners were told of his status and apparently consented to sex - he did his job as far as I'm concerned! If you have no other STDs, take your meds and are undetectable the chances are slim-to-none that you'll transmit the virus. Yes, he should have insisted, but criminial prosecution on any level is absurd!! Are people who spread other STDs prosecuted?? Get the gov't. out of the bedroom!
Doug, Los Angeles, 2009-10-13 12:22:16
As an HIV positive man it is my responsibility to inform a sexual partner of my status...
That does not make me your babysitter, or your conscience.
Bottom line is EVERYONE needs to take responsibilty for their own actions and decisions. Stop whinning about being shot when you are constantly playing with a loaded gun!! Get a grip!!
Jeton Ademaj, Chelsea, NY, 2009-10-13 08:43:15
The sense of guilt and self-condemnation amongst POZ people can be masochistic and foolish. **POZ people DO have a responsibility to NOT transmit the virus, but we do NOT have the responsibility of indulging the non-scientific panic of the ignorant!** He did NOT transmit the virus, probably thru a combination of treatment (reducing viral load) and negotiated risk (reducing exposure). Those of you condemning him should offer yourselves up for permanent quarantine FIRST. after all, it's "SAFEST"!
John, Nutbush, 2009-10-12 15:13:11
Although unprotected sex is definately risky, he made his partners aware of his status and they choose to take on that risk by not insisting upon protection. I wonder who talked about the details of the sex acts and the fact that they didnt use condoms? It just seems like this is supposed to be an example to scare people or there is something else going on we aren't being made aware of...
Tim, SF Bay Area, 2009-10-12 13:03:43
You are both right on this, Im also POZ 25+ years and have been disclosing since the the test came out. I tis my moral duty to do so. I dont like laws legislating such, but with the behavior of some few that seems "almost" reasonable. I also believe NEG folk need to buck up and start behaving again, being vigalent as well as thoughtful.. they seem to disparage us - the already infected - yet run around playing unsafe with other "supposedly safe" neg partners- very dangerous !
Tyler, Lancaster, Pa, 2009-10-11 18:28:26
To Steven R Franklin, What were you thinking in having unprotected sex with an HIV NEGATIVE person? I am gay and have been poz for 25 yrs.
WE DO HAVE A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY! to be sexually responsible! You give all of us Poz a bad name.
I think your sentence was too light. 3 Yrs in prison at the very lease would be more appropriate. Check out on some gay web sites in the POZ ROOMS the responses from gay poz guys towards the bug chasers. It ain't pretty the ass chewing the chasers get.
Ronny, Dallas, 2009-10-10 14:14:58
comments 16 - 27 (of 27 total)
Ultimitely, everyone has to be responsible for their own sexual behavior. If the women knew he was HIV+ and did not insist on a condom being used, then it is wrong for the positive partner to bare all the guilt. To punish him alone is not right. The women at the very least should have been fined or some appropriate punishment established for them also.
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