US: Missouri woman sentenced to 10 years for HIV exposure

October 18, 2007

Missouri must have some of the most draconian laws imaginable in the developed world against HIV-positive people.

A 27 year-old woman was sentenced to ten years in prison for HIV exposure, after her mother reported to her police. The ‘victim’ was a 42 year-old man.

To get an idea of how people think in this State, see the comments on this blog entry (stigma warning!)

The whole sorry story, from the AP, is below.

Woman with HIV gets 10-year term for having unprotected sex
Associated Press – October 18, 2007

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – An HIV-positive, eastern Missouri woman who had unprotected sex with her then-boyfriend was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.

Angela Harris, 27, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty in September to two counts of knowingly and recklessly risking infection of another person with HIV. She could be eligible for parole in four years.

Harris was arrested in February 2006, not long after the boyfriend learned of her infection from Harris’ mother.

The mother told police that her daughter had sex with as many as 100 people in the previous four to five years. Harris told authorities the number of sex partners was in the 20-50 range.

The former boyfriend also has tested negative for HIV, prosecutors said. Harris could have faced up to life in prison.

Harris’ lawyer, Deborah Alessi, said Harris had not wanted to engage in sex with her partner until they were in a committed relationship and had said he should use protection.

Even so, Harris was remorseful that she had not disclosed her HIV-positive status, Alessi said.

A prosecutor in St. Charles County, Dulany Harms, said Harris’ behavior was reckless, and that she was required by law to notify a partner of her HIV status.

Each count carried the potential sentence of between five and 15 years in prison.