A married man living with HIV has been charged with murder after a woman with whom he was having a long-term affair died of AIDS-related illness, reports The Associated Press. The man, Ronald Murdock, is accused of not telling his girlfriend, Kimberly Klempner, that he was HIV positive.
Bond was set at $1.5 million in the Toledo, Ohio, case. Murdock is also charged with felonious assault.
According to the AP, Murdock’s wife found out about the five-year affair and told Klempner that Murdock had HIV. Klempner’s son, Josh, said that by the time his mother learned about the situation, it was way too late.
The Toledo Blade reports that Josh Klempner testified in court that his mother had been living with Crohn’s disease and discovered her HIV status when the Crohn’s meds stopped working and she became sick.
In Ohio, according to the Blade, people living with HIV who don’t disclose their status before having sex can be charged with felonious assault.
Neither of the articles mentions whether the man was taking antiretrovirals for his HIV or what his viral load was. (People with HIV who take daily meds and maintain an undetectable viral load have virtually zero chance of passing along the virus.)
Apparently, this is the first such case in Lucas County to result in a murder charge; such charges are uncommon across the nation.
In California, the Senate just passed legislation to make intentionally infecting someone with HIV a misdemeanor instead of a felony. For more, click here. To read the HIV Justice Network’s coverage of Canada’s first murder trial for sexual transmission of HIV click here. And for a roundup of similar POZ articles, click #Criminalization.