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Canada: Criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure to be addressed if government is reelected

Liberals hope to deal with HIV non–disclosure issue if re–elected: Lametti
June 15, 2019

Liberals hope to deal with HIV non-disclosure issue if re-elected: Lametti

TORONTO — The Liberals hope to address the if re-elected in the fall, the federal justice minister said Friday as advocacy groups pushed the government to make changes to the law.

HIV non-disclosure has led to assault or sexual assault charges because it’s been found to invalidate a partner’s consent — the rationale being that if someone knew a person had HIV, they wouldn’t consent to sexual activity because of the risk of transmission.

Advocates say the justice system lags behind the science on the issue, with a growing body of evidence saying there is no realistic possibility of transmission of HIV if a person is on antiretroviral therapy and has had a suppressed viral load for six months.

A parliamentary committee has been examining the issue for months and is expected to release a report with recommendations next week. Justice Minister David Lametti said the Liberals want to address the matter but won’t have time to act before the October election.

“Our legislative runway is over,” Lametti said after speaking at a symposium on HIV criminalization in Toronto. “The house will rise at some point, perhaps as early as next week … I hope that our government will be re-elected so we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

Lametti said the Liberals, if returned to power, could explore options that include drafting a criminal law provision that targets intentional transmission of HIV.

“We need to look at the criminal law … and look at what’s within our jurisdiction … and trying to achieve that balance, as a number of people in the room have stated, in trying to draft a criminal law provision which targets only intent and not criminalize everything else,” he said.

Richard Elliott, Executive Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, said he’s concerned that the timing of the committee’s report — so close to the federal election — could mean its recommendations get lost.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s taken this long, several-year process since the last election, to get to the point of actually having a committee report with some recommendations that could then inform possible legislation,” he said. “The issue, however, isn’t going to go away for people living with HIV … we will continue to press for Criminal Code reform.”

In 2017, then-federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said she would examine how the criminal justice system dealt with people who do not disclose their HIV status to sexual partners.

Late last year, the government instructed federal prosecutors in the North that they should no longer prosecute anyone for not disclosing their HIV status to a sex partner where there is no risk of transmitting the virus. The rules apply only in the territories where federal prosecutors have jurisdiction.

Elliott said he’s hopeful that the Justice and Human Rights committee’s report will include a recommendation to establish a consistent policy for prosecutors at the provincial level.

Agencies advocating for de-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure agree that the law needs to change and it is a public health issue, not something that should be dealt with as sexual assault, he said.

“There is just a vast overreach in the Criminal Code as it’s been interpreted and applied,” he said. “Parliament needs to fix that and that will remain the case after the coming election.”

US: Black/queer communities bear the grunt of HIV criminalisation laws

How HIV Stigma Leads To The Criminalization Of Black Queer Communities
June 15, 2019

How HIV Stigma Leads To The Criminalization Of Black Queer Communities

After the 1990s, many black and queer people have been charged with crimes related to stigma.

After the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s, many black and queer people have lived with the stigma attached to their communities. 

The association between the disease and queerness began when many of the first cases involving HIV concerns were found among gay men in 1981. Though it has been proven having sex with queer folks doesn’t constitute transmission of HIV, many remain less informed on the topic. 

This belief has filtered into the criminal justice system, where queer people have been targeted as the culprits of HIV and AIDS transmission. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of black people who receive HIV diagnoses are queer, black men. 

They say 90 percent of black heterosexual women have received a positive HIV diagnosis. Those who are infected with HIV often receive proper care, wear condoms, or have successfully suppressed the virus. Yet, black queer folks tend to have more encounters with the criminal justice system regarding possible HIV exposure, transmission, and disclosure. 

In 2015, a black gay man named Michael Johnson was charged with reckless exposure in Missouri, for not disclosing his HIV positive status with his partners. Missouri’s law states partners must disclose their HIV positive status, even if they are practicing safe sex. 

He was later portrayed by media and prosecutors as a predator, and often referred to as the screen name he used to meet potential partners: “Tiger Mandigo.” Because his accusers were white gay men, who possibly saw Johnson as a threat, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

HIV criminalization laws, like the one in Missouri, refuse to look at advances in HIV prevention and care. Instead, they look to lock up folks to stop the spread of what the law constitutes as a HIV epidemic. 

Science has proven HIV criminalization laws are not reducing the transmission of HIV. They are actually scaring folks, especially in black/queer communities, from going in for a HIV screening. If their diagnosis comes back positive, and they don’t share that information with partners — for fear of abandonment by their partners due to the stigma that HIV holds — they are subject to criminal prosecution. 

Since their formation, state laws have not been revised to reflect the advances in HIV treatment and prevention. Many HIV positive folks use condoms, ask for consent prior to sex, and receive treatment such as PreP. Some folks living with HIV are virally suppressed. 

Science has also shown the likelihood of HIV transmission is rare even if it is intentional. Some state laws even criminalize those with HIV for spitting or biting during sex, when science has shown saliva is not a method of HIV transmission. 

HIV criminalization laws specifically refuse to look at the evidence and use the stigma to target black queer communities for punishment, and exclude them from society. Southern states house 21 of the areas with the highest likelihood of transmission among black queer men. 

The South also has the highest mass incarceration rates, with states like Louisiana and Mississippi locking up black people the most. 

The logic, possibly, is if we lock away all those who are HIV positive for possibly transferring the virus to their partners, then the spread will be controlled and all risk will be eliminated. But, some rates of transmission have not changed despite HIV criminalization laws currently in place. 

For example, between 2012 and 2016, the rate of black, gay, and bisexual men with HIV diagnoses remained the same.

However, black/queer folks bear the grunt of these laws as they are often the target of incarceration. A total of 38 states have laws that punish people for having potential to expose someone to a STD, which includes HIV. 

Those laws include sentence enhancement if the case pertains to possible HIV exposure, transmission, or lack of disclosure. A total of 28 states have criminalization laws that are HIV specific. Then, 19 states specifically require those who are HIV positive to disclose their status to their sexual partners. 

Two-thirds of those with HIV, who are facing prosecution in states with HIV specific laws, are black. In almost every case of HIV specific prosecution, the accused have been convicted and sentenced to prison. 

Charging black queer people who are HIV positive with carceral punishment is another way of shaming them for enjoying pleasure in the guise of disease containment. If the point of ensuring safety from transmission is to contain the virus, then putting black queer folks in prison isn’t the answer. 

It instead reinstates more violence onto black/queer folks, and disregards their safety in a justice system stacked against them. It has been proven placing those who are HIV positive into prisons doesn’t de-escalate the epidemic. It only delays the process of getting everyone infected the care they need. 

It also continues to stigmatize black/queer communities who already have enough to worry about. States need to eliminate these HIV specific criminal laws and let black/queer communities live in peace.

 

Belarus: Criminal case initiated against man accused of alleged HIV transmission

In Lida, a man intentionally infected his wife with HIV
June 14, 2019

In Lida, a man intentionally infected his wife with HIV (Google translation, for original article, please scroll down).

 A resident of Lida, who was well aware of his diagnosis, deliberately infected his spouse with HIV.

Original Source: Lidskaya Gazeta with reference to the local police department.

A criminal case was initiated against a man born in 1988.

Why he acted as he did is unknown.

Now a local resident is facing a fine, arrest or imprisonment for up to three years.

As for punishment, the court will decide everything soon.

In fact what happened is being checked. Details of the incident are also being clarified.


 

В Лиде мужчина намеренно заразил жену ВИЧ

Житель Лиды, который прекрасно знал о своем диагнозе, намеренно заразил ВИЧ свою супругу.

О произошедшем сообщает «Лидская газета» со ссылкой на местный РОВД.

В отношении мужчины 1988 года рождения было возбуждено уголовное дело.

Зачем он совершил данное действие — неизвестно.

Теперь местному жителю грозит штраф, арест или лишение свободы сроком до трех лет.

Что касается наказания, то все вскоре решит суд.

По факту случившегося проводится проверка. Выясняются также детали произошедшего инцидента.

UNAIDS welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia to remove HIV criminalisation article

UNAIDS welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia to strike down the section of the criminal code criminalizing HIV transmission
June 13, 2019

UNAIDS welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia to strike down the section of the criminal code criminalizing HIV transmission

GENEVA, 13 June 2019—UNAIDS welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia to remove the section of the criminal code that criminalizes HIV and Hepatitis B transmission. Overly broad criminalization of HIV transmission is ineffective, discriminatory and does not support efforts to prevent new HIV infections.

“Public health goals cannot be pursued by denying people their individual rights. The decision by the Constitutional Court of Colombia is a concrete step to ensure the law works for the HIV response, and not against it,” said Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS Executive Director, a.i. “UNAIDS will continue to advocate for a protective legal environment and the removal of punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma and discrimination that block effective responses to HIV.”

The Constitutional Court of Colombia established that the law violated the principles of equality and non-discrimination, as it singled out people living with HIV, stigmatising them and limiting their rights. The Court established that the law created a differential treatment that is not reasonable —and therefore constituted discrimination. The Court further established that such law violated the sexual rights of people living with HIV and it was ineffective to meet any public health objectives.

Overly broad and inappropriate application of criminal law against people living with HIV remains a serious concern across the globe. Nine jurisdictions in South and Central America and at least 77 others worldwide still criminalize HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.

UNAIDS filed an intervention before the Constitutional Court of Colombia indicating that no data support the broad application of criminal law to HIV transmission to prevent HIV transmission. Rather, such application risks undermining public health goals and human rights protections. UNAIDS strongly commends the decision taken by the Constitutional Court to restore the dignity and rights of people living with HIV in Colombia.

In 2018, UNAIDS, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care and the International AIDS Society convened an expert group of scientists who developed an Expert Consensus Statement on the Science of HIV in the Context of Criminal Law. The statement calls on the criminal justice system to ensure science informs the application of the law in criminal cases related to HIV.

UNAIDS 

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram andYouTube.  

 

 

Canada: Man living with HIV charged with failure to comply with court order to seek treatment

’This is not the norm’: Police release name and photo of HIV–positive man
June 8, 2019

‘This is not the norm': Police release name and photo of HIV-positive man

Vancouver police have released the name and picture of an HIV-positive man who court records show has violated six out of 24 probation conditions that include disclosing his HIV status to his sexual partners.

DX, 35, pleaded guilty to violating B.C.’s Public Health Act in October 2018, and was given 18 months’ probation.

It’s the first time health officials have taken someone to court to compel them to seek treatment, in a case the local health authority calls “unprecedented.”

“[We] never would have brought this forward for enforcement, if there hadn’t been an ongoing risk of HIV transmission to members of the public without their knowledge,” Dr. John Harding with Vancouver Coastal Health told CTV News.

Harding added VCH took “every supportive measure” for years to try to get X to “reduce the risk to others.”

“This is a point we never wanted to get to,” Harding said.

Court records show Hynd’s probation violations include missed appointments and not picking up his medication. VCH wouldn’t reveal how many people X had infected or discuss the circumstances.

Vancouver police say they’ve been searching for X, who lives or lived in Downtown Vancouver for well over a month.

Sgt. Jason Robillard said X might be driving a black Dodge Ram with an Alberta licence plate, and asked anyone who spotted him to call 911, but wouldn’t say if he was dangerous.

Asked whether the public should be worried, Dr. Harding said “people with HIV aren’t dangerous.” 

“That’s the message we want to send,” he said. 

Harding also acknowledged the VPD’s decision to release X’s name and picture could raise stigma for both X and the wider HIV-positive community.

“This isn’t the story of HIV in Vancouver,” he said. “We don’t want to undo any of that work and raise any of the stigma that’s been broken down over the years.”

Adam Reibin, director of communications with Positive Living BC, which provides health and wellness support to people living with HIV, called it a “slippery slope” when courts get involved in individuals’ treatment choices.

Still, Reibin said VCH had done “more than due diligence” in consulting with community organizations. He views X’s case as an “anomaly” that won’t have long lasting negative impacts.

According to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, more than 65,000 Canadians are living with HIV, and over 80 percent of them are taking antiretroviral treatment than can reduce the virus to a status known as “undetectable,” where there’s so little virus in the blood tests can’t pick it up.

Vancouver police say X is 6’3″, 195 pounds, with brown eyes and a shaved head. They say anyone who sees X should immediately call 911. 

 

[update]US: 23-year-old woman sentenced to 12 years for HIV non-disclosure

Vigo County woman sentenced to 12 years for having sex with a minor and not telling him she has HIV
June 8, 2019

Source:  WTHI-TV, June 7th, 2019

Vigo County woman sentenced to 12 years for having sex with a minor and not telling him she has HIV 

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A judge sentenced a Vigo County woman to 12 and a half years in prison.

LX pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor and failure to warn of a communicable disease.

Under the plea agreement, another charge was dismissed.

Authorities said X told a 15-year-old boy she was HIV positive after the two had sex.

According to court documents, X’s sentencing includes time served.

The court also ordered purposeful incarceration.

That means her sentence could be altered if she completes a substance abuse treatment program.


 

Woman Who Allegedly Didn’t Tell 15 Year Old She Was HIV Positive Appears In Court

Vigo County, Ind (WIBQ) –  A woman accused of having intimate relations with a 15 year old was in court Monday.

21 year old, LX is facing several charges in this case, one of which is failure to warn that she is HIV positive.

X is currently being held on $20,000 bond.

In court her attorney asked for that bond amount to be reduced to $10,000 and in-home detention release.

The judge is considering the request.

X is scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 21.

Published in WIBQ on April 3, 2017

—————————————————————————————————

HIV Positive Woman Accused Of Sex Crimes With Minor

Vigo County, Ind (WIBQ) –  A West Terre Haute woman made her first court appearance Monday on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and failure to warn.

Court documents show that 21 year old LX carries the HIV virus.

Allegedly she had sexual relations with a 15 year old boy after she began dating the child’s father and then moved into their home.

It wasn’t until two days after their encounter that she told him of her HIV status.

In court, X’s bond was set a $20,000 with cash only.

Her trial is scheduled for August 21st.

Published in WIBQ on March 20, 2017

Colombia: Constitutional court overthrows HIV criminalisation article

Corte tumba artículo que penalizaba la propagación del VIH
June 6, 2019
Source: El Tiempo, 06/06/2019 Google translation, for article in Spanish, scroll down.
 
Court buries article criminalizing the spread of HIV
Among the reasons for the decision, the high court stated that the rule “stigmatized” a population.
Three reasons led the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to overturn Article 411 of Law 599 of 2000, which penalized the spread of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, and of Hepatitis B.
 
A first reason was that this rule was not a necessary and proportional measure. Second, it stigmatized a population. And the third is that there is another rule in the Penal Code that already typifies the spread of epidemics.
 
The Court’s decision accepted several of the plaintiff’s arguments. According to the plaintiff, the rule violated the rights to equality and restricted the free development of personality, in particular sexual freedom. 
 
The norm established that there would be a prison term of 6 to 12 years for those who, knowing they are HIV positive or sick with hepatitis B, “carry out practices by means of which they can contaminate another person, or donate blood, semen, organs or, in general, anatomical components”.
 
According to the lawsuit, this penalized the fact that a person living with these diseases had sex, and made it a crime regardless of whether that person took the preventive measures that make the transmission of diseases unlikely, such as antiretroviral treatments and others.
 
The plaintiff argued that, although the purpose of this measure was to protect public health, this did not justify prohibiting a population group from freely expressing its sexuality, and stressed that there would be no effect when there were consensual relationships in which measures were taken to prevent contagion.
 
Regarding the violation of equality, the lawsuit held that the article only referred to and penalized people with HIV or hepatitis B, and not others with potentially contagious and delicate diseases.
 
Other views
As part of the debate on this law, the Court received 15 statements from different organizations, ministries, universities, and even from the Constitutional Court of South Africa – against it – to take into consideration. And there were almost as many arguments in favour as against. 
 
The Colombian League for the Fight against AIDS supported the lawsuit because it considered that the law did violate rights, added that laws that penalize exposure to HIV leave the entire burden of prevention on people living with it and said that the real challenges were more education and better access to medical testing and counseling services.
 
The statement sent by the Ministry of Justice gave reason to the plaintiff that the rule was discriminatory because it was addressed only to people with HIV – who have also been recognized as subjects of special constitutional protection – or hepatitis B. It also argued that there was no justification for the rule being for people with these two diseases and not for others who are aware of having different risks of infectious-contagious diseases. 
 
However, faced with the restriction of sexual freedom, the Ministry of Justice considered: the rule “does not violate the right to the free development of the personality, but is limited to establishing the penal consequences that its abusive and harmful exercise entails with respect to the rights of others and the community”. 
 
The Ministry of Health indicated, on the contrary, that the article did not violate either the right to equality or the free development of the personality and asked to leave it as it was.
 
The Attorney General’s Office agreed with the plaintiff that the rule punished the fact of having sex even when there was no transmission of the disease, which, says the Public Prosecutor’s Office, is not true. For the Attorney General’s Office, the rule was clear that in order for the crime to be configured there must be an intention to cause harm by engaging in practices that could end in contagion. The Public Prosecutor’s Office asked the Court to declare itself inhibited.

 


 

Corte tumba artículo que penalizaba la propagación del VIH

Entre las razones, el alto tribunal dijo que la norma “estigmatizaba” a una población.

Tres razones llevaron este miércoles a la Corte Constitucional a tumbar el artículo 411 de la ley 599 del 2000 que penalizaba la propagación del Virus de Inmunodeficiencia Adquirida, VIH, origen al sida, y la Hepatitis B.

Una primera razón es que esta norma no era una medida necesaria y proporcional. La segunda, estigmatizaba a una población. Y la tercera es que hay otra norma en el  Código Penal que tipifica ya la propagación de epidemias.

La decisión de la Corte acoge varios argumentos del demandante. Según este, la norma vulneraba los derechos a la igualdad y restringía el libre desarrollo de la personalidad, en particular, la libertad sexual. 

La norma establecía que habría prisión de 6 a 12 años para quien, sabiéndose portador del VIH o enfermo de hepatitis B, “realice prácticas mediante las cuales puedan contaminar a otra persona, o done sangre, semen, órganos o en general componentes anatómicos”.

De acuerdo con la demanda, esto penalizaba el hecho de que una persona que viviera con estas enfermedades tuviera sexo, y lo convertía en delito sin importar si se esa persona tomaba las medidas preventivas que hacen improbable la transmisión de enfermedades, como tratamientos antirretrovirales y otros.

El demandante sostenía que, aunque el fin de esta medida era proteger la salud pública, esto no justificaba prohibirle a un grupo poblacional expresar libremente su sexualidad, y resaltaba que no habría afectación cuando se tuvieran relaciones consensuadas en las que se tomaran medidas para prevenir contagios.

Sobre la vulneración a la igualdad, la demanda sostenía que el artículo solo se refería y penalizaba a personas con VIH o hepatitis B, y no a otras con enfermedades también potencialmente contagiosas y delicadas.

 
Otras voces

Como parte del debate sobre esta norma, la Corte recibió 15 conceptos de diferentes organizaciones, ministerios, universidades, e incluso de la Corte Constitucional de Sudáfrica- en contra-, para alimentar sus consideraciones. Y hubo casi tantos argumentos a favor como en contra. 

La Liga Colombiana de Lucha contra el Sida apoyó la demanda pues consideró que con la norma sí se vulneraban los derechos, agregó que leyes que penalizan la exposición al VIH dejan toda la carga de la prevención a las personas que viven con él y dijo que los verdaderos desafíos son más educación y mejor acceso a servicios de pruebas médicas y consejería.

El concepto enviado por el Ministerio de Justicia le dio la razón al demandante en que la norma es discriminatoria pues estaba dirigida únicamente a personas con VIH –que además han sido reconocidas como sujetos de especial protección constitucional– o hepatitis B. También argumentó que no se advertía justificación para que la norma fuera para personas con esas dos enfermedades y no para otras que conscientes de tener enfermedades infectocontagiosas riesgosas distintas. 

Sin embargo, frente a la restricción a la libertad sexual, la cartera de Justicia consideró: la norma “no vulnera el derecho al libre desarrollo de la personalidad, sino que se limita a establecer las consecuencias penales que acarrea su ejercicio abusivo y lesivo frente a los derechos de las demás personas y la comunidad”. 

El Ministerio de Salud indicó, al contrario, que la norma demandada no vulneraba ni el derecho a la igualdad ni el libre desarrollo de la personalidad y pidió dejarla como estaba.

La Procuraduría coincidió con el demandante en que la norma castigaba el hecho de tener sexo aun cuando no exista transmisión de la enfermedad, lo cual, dice el Ministerio Público, no es cierto. Para la Procuraduría, la norma era clara en que para que se configurara el delito debía existir una intención de causar daño realizando prácticas que podían terminar en contagio. El Ministerio Público pidió a la Corte declararse inhibida.

Australia: Surgeon charged with rape in Victoria for removing a condom while having sex

Top surgeon charged with rape after removing condom without permission
June 5, 2019

Top surgeon charged with rape after removing condom without permission

A prominent surgeon charged with raping a fellow doctor after he allegedly took his condom off without permission while they were having sex has won a court battle to keep treating patients.

The surgeon, who is also an academic, was arrested and charged by Victoria Police in September 2018 after he was involved in a 2017 incident of “stealthing”, the non-consensual removal of a condom, during sex with another male doctor.

Under Victorian law, the non-consensual removal of a condom and continued penetrative sex is classified as rape.

Following the incident, the other doctor raised concerns about being infected with HIV, began to take medication to prevent contracting the disease and asked the surgeon to provide tests verifying his HIV-free status.

Instead, the surgeon, whose named has been suppressed, blocked his calls and texts. 

When charges were laid, the surgeon had his practising licence suspended by the medical board but the ban was lifted after a battle in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

He is now free to see patients and practise medicine despite the rape charges still hanging over his head and making their way through the courts.

Tribunal documents reveal that the surgeon and the other doctor were known to each other before the alleged rape.

The two had been out to dinner when they decided to return to the other doctor’s home.

According to the alleged victim, at dinner the pair had talked about gay men’s health issues, including various methods of avoiding contracting HIV.

 

Worried about contracting the virus, the doctor told the surgeon that he would not have sex without a condom, and that medication the surgeon was taking to avoid contracting HIV was in his view an added safety net, not a substitute for using a condom.

The doctor told police he was “very upset” and asked the surgeon why he had removed the condom. The surgeon responded only that “it feels better”, according to court documents.

“[The surgeon] clearly understood he had caused the complainant distress and apologised and reassured him that his health was not at risk,” the documents state.

“In this conversation [the surgeon] admitted to previously having unprotected sex with other men, most recently about six weeks ago, where [the surgeon] had never previously said this.”

After the surgeon was charged he quickly told the Medical Board of Australia.

 

After considering the factors leading to the surgeon’s arrest, they suspended his registration as a medical practitioner pending the outcome of the charges.

The surgeon challenged the suspension of his registration, hiring two top-tier barristers, including a QC, to argue the matter in VCAT.

The tribunal lifted the suspension of the doctor’s registration, finding that immediate action against the surgeon was not in the public interest and therefore the Medical Board did not have sufficient grounds to issue a ban when it was told of the charges.

The Medical Board is appealing the decision in the Supreme Court.

The surgeon has been charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

[Update]US: Missouri man pleads not-guily to two felony charges for alleged HIV transmission

Many seek HIV testing after Springfield man is accused of recklessly spreading virus
June 1, 2019

Source: KY3, May 31, 2019

Many seek HIV testing after Springfield man is accused of recklessly spreading virus

 SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A Springfield man accused of recklessly spreading H-I-V was in court Friday morning. X is being held in the Greene County jail, and appeared for the first time in Greene County Circuit Court, pleading not guilty to two felony charges.
 
 Police reports say X has been HIV positive since at least December 2010, but he didn’t tell the woman. Now, Springfield Police say they have a total of seven reports against him.

“We ended up, you know, with about 30 folks coming in to get tested that commented that they were connected with him or they were connected with someone who had contact with him, sexual contact with him,” says APO executive director Lynne Meyerkord.

Meyerkord says the news spread quickly through the media, and staff even did community outreach. “This individual worked at a couple of bars in town that had a lot of traffic and a lot of people who were younger, so it was important to get the word out,” Meyerkord says.

The purpose of their outreach has been to encourage people to come in for free HIV testing. “In a situation like this, people realize, oh my gosh, I may be at risk here, so there was quite a run on people getting checked out,” says Meyerkord, “which was really helpful and really heartening, because people are paying attention and realize that they need to be tested and there’s something they can do about this.”

APO staff say there have been huge advancements in HIV treatment over the last 30 years that are extending lives and preventing transmission. “In this day and time, there are so many things that can be done to prevent transmission, and if folks will get tested, and if they are positive, if they will get on treatment and stay on treatment,” says Meyerkord, “they’re not at risk for transmitting the virus, which is kind of our hope for ending the epidemic.”

X’s next court appearance is now scheduled for July 15th. Police say each case against X could bring a separate charge, but no other charges have yet been filed.

X was arrested and charged in February for recklessly infecting a woman with HIV, then offering her money to drop the charges. Police say the woman met X online, had sex with him, and later ended up in the hospital, testing positive for HIV.


 Source: Springfield News Leader, February 21, 2019

Springfield man charged with infecting woman with HIV, then trying to pay her off

A Springfield man has been accused of infecting a woman with HIV and then offering her money to not cooperate with law enforcement.

MX, 36, was charged Wednesday with two felonies — tampering with a witness in a felony prosecution and recklessly infecting another person with HIV.

The HIV charge is a Class A felony that carries a possible life sentence.

According to a probable cause statement in this case, X has been HIV positive since at least 2010, when he tested positive in Illinois.

In March 2018, the statement says X had unprotected sex with a woman in Springfield without telling her he was HIV positive.

The woman was hospitalized later that month, and she learned she was HIV positive. The woman had been tested a few months earlier and she did not have any sexually transmitted infections, according to the statement.

Once police became involved in the case, X allegedly offered to pay the woman money he was getting from a legal settlement if she would not cooperate with the prosecution.

X is being held in the Greene County Jail on $50,000 bond. He does not have an attorney listed for this case.

In a court filing, prosecutors say X is “an ongoing danger to the community” because he recently posted an ad on Facebook asking for cuddles.

During the HIV epidemic of the 1980s, many states implemented laws related to HIV exposure. As of 2018, Missouri was one of 26 states that still had laws criminalizing HIV exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

France: Man to appear in Court in Caen for alleged deliberate HIV transmission

Calvados. VIH devant la cour d’assises
June 1, 2019

Source: Ouest France, May 31, 2019

A man will appear in court in Caen on the 20th June, accused of deliberate HIV transmission to his ex-partner. 

Le 20 Juin, un homme apparaitra devant la Cour d’assises de Caen, accusé d’avoir transmis volontairement le VIH à son ex-compagne.

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