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[Update] US: Missourians living with HIV testify in House committee hearing in support of proposals to modernise HIV criminalisation laws

Lawmakers, health officials push Missouri HIV law rewrite
February 4, 2019

Published in Houston Herald on Feb. 4, 2019

Proposals to reduce criminal HIV exposure penalties encourage prevention

JEFFERSON CITY — LaTrischa Miles doesn’t spit when she runs.

A mother of three, the treatment adherence supervisor at Kansas City Health Center was diagnosed with HIV in 1995. She remembers the day like her birthday, and she remembers it when she’s running.

“Running is not a pretty sport. You see a lot of things when you’re running. You smell a lot of things when you’re running,” Miles said. “A lot of runners get dry mouth, and they spit, a lot. But I dare not. Because if I spit … I may get arrested at the finish line.”

Current Missouri law makes it a felony for a person knowingly infected with the human immunodeficiency virus to “recklessly” expose someone else without their knowledge or consent — whether or not the person meant to do so, and whether or not the victim contracted HIV. The law lists sex, needle-sharing and biting as methods of transfer.

It’s not clear whether spitting during a half-marathon violates the law, but that uncertainty is part of the problem. “As a person living with HIV,” Miles said, “I’ve lived in the shadow of these criminal laws.”

But for the second year in a row, Reps. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis, and Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, have filed separate but similar bills to modernize what some call the “criminal HIV exposure” law.

Each proposal would apply penalties currently reserved for exposing someone to HIV to other “communicable diseases,” such as hepatitis C or HPV, and minimize the punishment for those convicted. The proposals also update the law’s language to reflect current understanding about how HIV is transmitted.

Miles and a slew of public health advocates, students and Missourians living with HIV testified in a House committee hearing Monday in support of the proposals. The witnesses emphasized the need for a revised bill that would reduce stigma, encourage people to know their status and reflect modern science.

“So much has changed. HIV is no longer a death sentence. It’s a chronic disease. It’s a human disease,” Miles said. “Persons living with HIV that once took 16 pills a day … now have the option to take one pill a day.”

Lawmakers passed the original bill in the late ‘80s, an era when the rampant spread of AIDS through sex made lovers into killers, and the law ensured they would be punished accordingly. Mere exposure can lead to a class B felony conviction. If the victim contracts HIV, the charge bumps up to a class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison. It’s the same consequence in Missouri for murder.

Both proposals would consider whether the person with a communicable disease intended to transmit it to someone else, and the consequences would be less severe. Rehder’s bill makes knowingly exposing another person to a communicable disease a class C felony; if transmission occurs, the charge becomes a class B felony.

“For comparison’s sake, if you’re driving while intoxicated and hurt someone but don’t kill them in Missouri, it’s a class C felony,” Rehder said. “If you’re driving while intoxicated and in an act of criminal negligence you cause the death of someone, then it’s a class B felony, so that makes it more consistent.”

McCreery’s bill offers a less severe punishment, diminishing the consequences for exposing another person to a communicable disease to a class B misdemeanor — or a class A misdemeanor if the victim contracts the disease.

The severity of the current law also serves as a disincentive for people to know their HIV status, Rehder said. If a person doesn’t know they have HIV, they can’t be convicted of exposing the virus to another person.

And, Rehder said, people who are unaware of their positive status are responsible for 90 percent of HIV transfer — and that ignorance is a public health issue.

“The bottom line is, we want people to get tested and know their status and get treatment,” she said.

Another strategy the proposals encourage is prevention. Under the current law, condom use — which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends as a preventative strategy — is not a defense. The new proposals note that using science-based, preventive measures (including condoms) could serve as evidence that the person with the disease did not intend to expose or transmit it.

The proposals offer a few more updates based on the scientific advancements that have happened in the last 30 years. For one, they’ve removed “biting” from the list as a way to transfer HIV. In fact, transmitting HIV via biting is extremely rare — so rare that the CDC notes it’s only happened when the bite led to “severe trauma with extensive tissue damage and the presence of blood.”

McCreery’s bill removes the current law’s enhanced punishments for HIV-positive sex workers; Rehder’s does not address it. McCreery’s bill also eliminates punishments for a person with HIV or hepatitis who endangers a correctional or mental health employee.

The current law lists exposure to feces, urine or saliva as a means for transmission. Rehder’s version no longer specifically penalizes HIV or hepatitis and applies only in the case of exposure to “bodily fluids … scientifically shown to be a known means of transmission of a serious infectious or communicable disease.”

Rehder acknowledged that neither proposal is perfect, and the final product may lie somewhere between the two.

“We’re working closely together to present Missouri-specific options to update Missouri’s antiquated HIV laws,” McCreery said in an interview after the hearing. “We wanted to send a strong message to Missourians that this is a nonpartisan issue.”


Published in Fox2Now on December 1, 2018

Lawmakers, health officials push Missouri HIV law rewrite

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some Missouri legislators and public health professionals are calling for a rewrite of the state’s HIV laws, which they say are outdated and medically inaccurate.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Republican Rep. Holly Rehder and Democratic Rep. Tracy McCreery proposed bills in the last legislative session to reduce the state’s penalties for exposing someone to HIV. They plan to present the same bills in the 2019 session.

Missouri’s roughly 30-year-old law states that an HIV-positive individual could be convicted of a felony if he or she exposes a partner to the disease without the partner’s knowledge or consent. The law gives a minimum 10-year sentence for transmitting HIV and minimum five-year sentence for knowingly exposing someone to HIV.

Advocates say such laws result in questionable prosecutions and negative public health outcomes.


[Update]US: Indiana man already incarcerated for other alleged HIV non-disclosure charges pleads guilty in another county

Indiana Man Who Withheld HIV Status Pleads Guilty Again
February 4, 2019

Thirty-nine-year-old Travis Spoor of Silver Lake pleaded guilty Monday in St. Joseph County to malicious mischief. The South Bend Tribune reports a second count was dismissed in a plea agreement.

He’s due to be sentenced March 7 and could receive two years in prison under the plea agreement.

Spoor pleaded guilty to the same charge in three separate 2017 cases in Allen County and Marshall County in 2017. He received sentences of three years, one year, and 18 months in prison and 18 months home detention.

Court records show several women met Spoor online and had sex with him, unaware of his HIV status.

Published in The Pilot News on Dec 15, 2017

Man with HIV gets 18 months for not telling sex partners

A Silver Lake man accused of not revealing his HIV-positive status to a pair of Marshall County women before he had unprotected sex with them has received an 18-month sentence.

Marshall Superior Court I Judge Robert Bowen sentenced Travis Spoor, 38, during a hearing on Thursday.

The sentence will be served with Marshall County Community Corrections once Spoor has served part of a prison sentence for similar crimes in Allen County, Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman said.

Thursday’s sentencing hearing marks the end of a salacious crime spree that spread across four northern Indiana counties.

Along with Marshall and Allen counties, Spoor was charged this year and in 2016 for similar crimes in Kosciusko and Wabash counties. Additional charges were added as more women came forward to report Spoor to investigators after learning of the allegations from area media.

“The Travis Spoor case is indeed disturbing,” Chipman said. “At some point we had to start considering where does the incarceration end. In other words, at what point is justice fulfilled, and we are not being vindictive?

“Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Berndt did a thorough job of tracking Mr. Spoor’s other sentences, and despite the defense attorney’s push to have the Marshall County case dismissed, we decided that the punishment he had received in the other counties was still not sufficient for our victims,” he continued. “We did decide, however, that upon completion of his periods of incarceration with the other counties that his sentence from Marshall County could then begin.”

Read more about this in today’s edition of the Pilot News.

Published on WSBT22 on Nov 23, 2018

Judge extends Kosciusko County man’s prison sentence

A Kosciusko County man will spend another year in prison for withholding his HIV status.

An Allen County judge added one year to 37-year-old Travis Spoor’s three-year prison sentence.

The Silver Lake man is accused of having sex with women and not telling them he was HIV-positive.

The extra year was added after another victim came forward.

Spoor is awaiting trial on the same charge in Marshall County. He’s been convicted of the same offense in Kosciusko County.

Published on Aug 9, 2017 in the Bristol Herald Courrier

Northern Indiana man gets 3 years for withholding HIV status

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to three years in prison for having sex with women and not telling them he was HIV-positive.

Thirty-seven-year-old Travis Spoor of Silver Lake was sentenced Wednesday in Allen Superior Court after pleading guilty to three counts of malicious mischief in June.

Online court and prison records show Spoor is awaiting trial on the same charge in Marshall County and has been convicted of the same offence in Kosciusko County.

Court records show several women have told police similar stories about meeting Spoor online and engaging in sexual relationships with him, not knowing of his HIV status.

Silver lake is a Kosciusko County town about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.

Published on July 20, 2017 in the News Sentinel

New unprotected sex charge filed against HIV-positive man

A man awaiting sentencing for having unprotected sex with three Allen County women without informing them of his HIV-positive status beforehand has been charged with the same crime against another Allen County woman.

Travis R. Spoor, 37, was charged Thursday in Allen Superior Court with one count of malicious mischief, a Level 6 felony, according to court records.

Spoor, who has listed addresses in Silver Lake and in the 2600 block of Belfast Drive here locally, allegedly had unprotected sex with an Allen County woman from April 27, 2016 to July 4, 2016 without Spoor telling her he was HIV-positive, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

The woman contacted Indiana State Police after she saw Channel 15’s Facebook page post about Spoor last December. She said she met Spoor through the dating website on April 25, 2016. He allegedly used the name Travis Holderman, and she did a criminal background check on that name. When nothing showed up, she said she never thought again about it, the affidavit said.

The woman said they had about 10 dates between April 27, 2016 and May 11, 2016 and allegedly had unprotected sex five to six times. She said they resumed their relationship June 15, 2016 to July 4, 2016, allegedly having unprotected sex another five to six times, the affidavit said.

The woman told police she asked Spoor to wear protection, but he allegedly refused and his HIV-positive status was not mentioned.

Spoor was diagnosed with HIV-1/HIV-2 combination, plus HIV-1 Western on Dec. 22, 2012 and signed a duty to warn on Jan. 3, 2013. Spoor also signed on Oct. 21, 2015, a post-test counseling form from the Indiana State Department of Health indicating he is prohibited from engaging in sexual contact with anyone without first informing them of his HIV-positive status.

Spoor is awaiting an Aug. 2 sentencing for having unprotected sex with three Allen County women without telling them of his HIV-positive status.

Spoor also was charged with the same offense in Kosciusko and Marshall counties.

Published on July 6, 2017 in WSBT 22

HIV positive man charged after spreading it to multiple women

July 6, 2017

A Marshall county man accused of spreading HIV to multiple women was sentenced Thursday.

Travis Spoor was charged with three counts of malicious mischief. He plead guilty to all three counts.

Spoor received the maximum sentencing that he could. He’ll serve three years behind bars and three years on probation. He is also facing the same charges in Marshall and Allen County, too.

According to court documents, he was dating multiple women between 2013 and now. All of those women say they saw him taking medication but he never said it was for HIV.

Spoor’s defense attorney, David Kolbe, says he is very apologetic for his actions.The only thing the defense team could do was to enter a plea deal. “There was no defense to the actions by Travis to engage in sexual intercourse with a number of females without advising that he was HIV positive,” said Kolbe.

Kolbe says Spoor had to accept full responsibility for his actions. Kolbe also represents him in the case against him in Marshall County.

 Published in The Journal Gazette on June 29, 2017

Man admits not telling women he was HIV positive

The Journal Gazette

 A Silver Lake man accused of having sex with several woman and not telling them he was HIV positive pleaded guilty today in Allen Superior Court to three counts of malicious mischief as part of a plea agreement.

Travis R. Spoor, 37, made contact with his victims on dating websites, although he met one in late 2007 or early 2008 through a mutual friend. They then encountered each other again on a dating website, according to court documents.

The plea agreement calls for Spoor to be sentenced to one year on each of three counts of malicious mischief, to be served consecutively, for a total of three years.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 2.

In 2013, Spoor signed a duty-to-warn document in accordance with Indiana law that says people with dangerous communicable diseases have an obligation to warn others they might put at risk.

One woman told police she had consensual sex with Spoor at his Fort Wayne home and at her out of county home through February 2016 when she saw a photo of Spoor with his ex-girlfriend on a social media website.

This woman found out through a news article that Spoor was diagnosed with HIV and contacted Indiana State Police and Parkview Hospital to request lab work. She adamantly denied that Spoor ever revealed he was infected with the HIV virus.

A second woman contacted Indiana State Police in Bremen saying her ex-boyfriend, Spoor, had been arrested on a charge of malicious mischief. She said she met him nearly three years ago via a social networking site. They dated for three months and had unprotected sex at his residence in Fort Wayne and at her home in Wabash, she said. Then she broke up with him when he told her that his ex-wife had moved in with him, according to court documents.

It was the second woman’s ex-husband who told her he found out on the internet Spoor was infected with the HIV virus. She went to Planned Parenthood to check her health.

A third woman also contacted Indiana State Police in Bremen saying that her ex-boyfriend, Spoor, had been arrested on a charge of malicious mischief. She said she met Spoor at the end of 2014 on a dating site and in October 2015 went to Fort Wayne to have consensual unprotected sex. Their relationship ended soon because Spoor was ignoring her phone calls, she said.


Published in the South Bend Tribune on March 14, 2017

Man arrested, charged for not informing partner of HIV status

WARSAW — A Silver Lake resident is likely to face additional charges for hiding his HIV status from sex partners.

An affidavit was filed Tuesday in Kosciusko Superior Court indicating that Travis Spoor, 37, allegedly had sex on multiple occasions with a woman that he met on the dating site

Police say that Spoor told the woman that his name was Ray Hildeman. The two spoke over the phone for about two weeks before meeting in person. The woman told police that the man she knew as Ray Hildeman then came to her house on March 5, and spent a week there and that they had unprotected sexual intercourse three times.

 The woman told police that she did not know his true identity at the time, and he never told her that he had tested HIV positive.

The woman told police that he left Sunday after she told him that her children were coming home. The victim learned the man’s true identity because he forgot his wallet and she found a license with the name Travis Spoor that included a photo of the man she knew as Ray Hildeman.

The victim then contacted the Kosciusko County sheriff and made a report.

Spoor admitted to police on March 13 that he used an alias on the dating site and that he had had a relationship with the victim and that the two had unprotected sex and that he did not inform her of his HIV status.

Spoor, who lives in southern Kosciusko County, already is facing felony charges in Marshall County for allegedly failing to tell sex partners he was HIV positive. He also is facing additional charges in Kosciusko and Allen counties for similar behavior.

The charges stem from relationships going back to at least 2013. In court documents, prosecutors alleged Spoor knew he was HIV-positive since 2012.

Spoor signed a document on Jan. 4, 2013, saying he would warn potential sex partners of his HIV positive status in accordance with Indiana law, according to the probable cause affidavit. Spoor also signed a post-test counseling form from the Indiana Department of Health that prohibited him from having sexual intercourse if he did not first inform his partners of his HIV positive status.


US: Man living with HIV arrested in Pennsylvania for engaging in sex work while knowing his status

HIV positive man arrested for prostitution; Bucks County DA warns of health risks
January 31, 2019

Source: 6abc Action News. Published on January 30, 2019

HIV positive man arrested for prostitution; Bucks County DA warns of health risks

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub is warning of possible health risks following the arrest of a Yardley man for prostituting himself while knowing he had HIV.

X, 57, who resides in Yardley, was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges including prostitution, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and criminal use of a communication facility.

It is believed X has used his residence as a house of prostitution since at least December 2017 and previously lived in Philadelphia.

In an affidavit of probable cause, X indicated to police he knew he lives with HIV. It is not immediately clear how long X has been living with the virus.

“This is a public health issue. We are not making morality judgments here,” said DA Matt Weintraub. “If you’ve had sexual contact with this man, seek a medical evaluation immediately.”

X posted on the website where he advertised “erotic male massage” in the Philadelphia area.

The charges filed today against X stem from an incident in early January in which a man met with X at his residence in response to such a post. According to the complaint, the man reported that while at X’s home, he was provided with drinks that rendered him highly intoxicated as well as apparent drugs smoked from a pipe.

While impaired, he engaged in sex acts with X and an unknown third person.

The man continued to communicate with X under the direction of investigators, during which X solicited him to return for a paid sexual encounter. In the messages, the complaint says, X agreed to provide a number of services including sex and methamphetamine at a cost of $575.

District Judge Robert L. Wagner set bail at $500,000 unsecured.

The case was investigated by Yardley Police and the Bucks County Detectives. It will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sarah K. Heimbach.

US: Indiana man charged with two counts of battery by bodily waste for spitting at medical staff

Man with HIV charged with spitting in hospital staff’s eyes
January 30, 2019

Source: Becca Davila in abc57, Published on January 208, 2019

Man with HIV charged with spitting in hospital staff’s eyes

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – A man was charged with two counts of battery by bodily waste after allegedly spitting at medical personnel.

On Jan. 24, X, was taken to the emergency department at Memorial Hospital and claimed he was having seizures.

X requested anti-seizure medication and personnel at the hospital learned he was HIV positive while running tests.

Nurse Carolyn Metz was assisting Dr. Mark Monahan when X fell to the ground and began shaking.

According to several witnesses, X then brought spit to his lips and purposely spit in the face of Dr. Monahan and nurse Metz .

Both Monahan and Metz said they felt the spit go into their eyes and onto their faces.

Dr. Monahan then stated that X spit at them on purpose.

Medical workers who witnessed the event said that X stopped his shaking behavior immediately to deny the claim.

The medical personnel also claimed that X began to swear at the workers around him during this incident.

X was arrested and was charged with two counts of battery by bodily fluid.

He is currently being held at the St. Joseph County Jail on a $3,000 bond.

He was arraigned on Friday and entered a preliminary plea of not guilty.

If he is released on bond, the will be ordered to report to probation within 24 hours.

X is due back in court for his initial hearing on Feb. 5.

Russia: Russian Interior Ministry Press Service identified 130 cases of criminalisation of HIV transmission in 2018

Сколько россиян умышленно заражают ВИЧ
January 29, 2019

How many Russians intentionally transmit HIV – Google translation from Russian article in News.Ru, published on January 25, 2019 – For article in Russian, scroll down.

Each year, the police recorded about 100 crimes under the article about intentional HIV transmission. So, in 2018 130 people were identified who committed similar offenses, in 2017 – 129. This was reported to the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry. At the same time, experts say that statistics hardly reflects the real picture. Most of the victims simply do not go to the police, fearing publicity. figured out whether it is difficult in court to punish the perpetrator of the infection and get a monetary compensation from him.

Despite the fact that on January 23, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Chief Medical Officer of Russia Anna Popova, reported a decrease in the rate of increase in HIV incidence in 2018 by 2%, the overall picture of the spread of the disease in the country can hardly be called favorable. According to official data, the number of HIV-infected Russians has almost reached 1 million people. At the same time, the head of the Federal Scientific and Methodological Center for the Prevention and Fight against AIDS, academician Vadim Pokrovsky, has repeatedly stated that there can be much more in fact, from 1.3 million to 1.5 million people.

Deliberate HIV infection in Russia is a criminal offense for which you can get up to eight years in prison. According to Article 122 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, punishment threatens those who knew about their positive status, but hid it from a partner, as well as for knowingly putting another person in danger of infection and for infection if their professional duties were not performed properly. Moreover, if a person does not know about his illness, he does not bear criminal responsibility. Criminal liability is also a threat for the intentional infection of a venereal disease (Article 121 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), but such cases are much less frequent by law enforcement agencies: five criminals were identified in 2017, and one was reported in 2018. The Russian Interior Ministry also told .

More often The immunodeficiency virus is transmitted sexually, during pregnancy or breastfeeding from mother to child and through untreated medical or cosmetic items, if they have already been used by an infected person.

As a rule, HIV is diagnosed in the second stage of the disease. That is, from the moment of infection it can take from six months to several years. That is why, when a person finds out about his status, he is not always able to say with certainty at what point the infection occurred and whether it was intentional or accidental. That is why far from everybody turns to the police, lawyer Alexander Tolmachyov suggested in a conversation with

Most often, it is very difficult to prove the intention and guilt of the person who infected it. Especially if the infection occurred in a medical facility. And one person suffered, not several. But in some cases, when a person knows exactly when he was infected, it is possible not only to punish the perpetrator, but also to sue the impressive compensation, which will cover the costs of treatment and moral harm. A significant factor here will be that the disease is incurable,” the expert believes.

To identify who the person was infected with, you can use laboratory tests, told a senior member of the Russian Scientific and Methodological Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, epidemiologist Oleg Yurin, to

“In sets of one or two people with the virus, it is easy, there are some studies that show how close these viruses are” ,  – stated the expert.

The doctor after diagnosis can only recommend contacting the person from whom the disease could have been transmitted. Often people, fearing publicity, do not go to the police, even if there is a suspicion that the infection was intentional, he suggested.

“Usually they turn to the police if there was some kind of violence or something like that, or maybe an infection occurred in the medical institutions. But about the infection in the clinic – it is quite difficult to prove, it is necessary to conduct an investigation. Basically, the medical institution is suspicious if a child is infected. Children have practically no other way of infection, because they do not use drugs, there is no sex. But here too it is possible to prove that in a certain institution infection occurred, but to prove that it is the fault of a particular health professional -is also quite difficult “ ,  – said epidemiologist.

Сколько россиян умышленно заражают ВИЧ

Елена Оя

Ежегодно полицией фиксируются порядка 100 преступлений по статье об умышленном заражении ВИЧ-инфекцией. Так, в 2018 году были выявлены 130 человек, совершивших аналогичные правонарушения, в 2017-м — 129. Об этом сообщили в пресс-службе МВД России. При этом эксперты утверждают, что статистика едва ли отражает реальную картину. Большинство пострадавших просто не обращаются в полицию, боясь огласки. выяснял, сложно ли в судебном порядке наказать виновного в заражении и получить с него денежную компенсацию.

Несмотря на то, что 23 января руководитель Роспотребнадзора, главный санитарный врач России Анна Попова сообщила о снижении темпов прироста заболеваемости ВИЧ в 2018 году на 2%, общую картину по распространению болезни в стране трудно назвать благоприятной. По официальным данным, количество ВИЧ-инфицированных россиян практически достигло 1 млн человек. При этом руководитель Федерального научно-методического центра по профилактике и борьбе со СПИДом, академик Вадим Покровский неоднократно заявлял, что по факту заболевших может быть гораздо больше — от 1,3 млн до 1,5 млн человек.

Умышленное заражение ВИЧ в России является уголовным преступлением, за которое можно получить срок до восьми лет лишения свободы. Согласно статье 122 УК РФ, наказание грозит тем, кто знал о своём положительном статусе, но скрыл его от партнёра, а также за заведомое поставление другого лица в опасность заражения и за инфицирование при ненадлежащем исполнении профессиональных обязанностей. При этом если человек не знает о своём заболевании, то уголовной ответственности он не несёт. Грозит уголовная ответственность и за умышленное заражение венерическим заболеванием (121-я статья УК РФ), но такие случаи органы правопорядка фиксируют значительно реже: в 2017-м выявлены пять преступников, в 2018-м — один, также сообщили в МВД России.

Чаще всего вирус иммунодефицита передаётся половым путём, во время беременности или грудного вскармливания от матери к ребёнку и через необработанные надлежащим образом медицинские или косметические предметы, если ими уже пользовался заражённый человек.

Как правило, ВИЧ диагностируют на второй стадии развития заболевания. То есть от момента заражения может пройти от шести месяцев и до нескольких лет. Именно поэтому, когда человек узнаёт о своём статусе, он не всегда с уверенностью может сказать, в какой момент произошло заражение и было ли оно умышленным или случайным. Именно поэтому в полицию обращаются далеко не все, предположил в разговоре с юрист Александр Толмачев.

«Чаще всего доказать умышленность и вину человека, который заразил, очень сложно. Особенно если заражение произошло в медицинском учреждении. И пострадал один человек, а не несколько. Но в некоторых случая, когда человек точно знает, когда он был инфицирован, можно не только наказать виновного, но и отсудить внушительную компенсацию, которая покроет издержки на лечение и моральный вред. Существенным фактором здесь будет являться то, что заболевание неизлечимое», — считает эксперт.

Выявить, от кого заразился человек, можно с помощью лабораторных анализов, рассказал старший научный сотрудник Российского научно-методического центра по профилактике и борьбе со СПИДом, эпидемиолог Олег Юрин.

«Установить, один ли вирус у двух человек, несложно, есть определённые исследования, которые показывают, насколько близки эти вирусы», — констатировал специалист.

По его словам, выяснять или нет, от кого произошло заражение, решает сам инфицированный. Врач после постановки диагноза может только рекомендовать связаться с человеком, от которого могло передаться заболевание. Часто люди, боясь огласки, не обращаются в полицию, даже если есть подозрение, что заражение было умышленным, предположил он.

«Обычно в полицию обращаются, если имело место быть какое-то насилие или что-то в таком духе, либо, может быть, в медицинских учреждениях произошло заражение. Но насчёт заражения в поликлинике — это достаточно сложно доказать, нужно проводить расследование. В основном на медучреждение падает подозрение, если заразился ребёнок. У детей практически нет другого способа заражения, поскольку они наркотики не употребляют, половых контактов нет. Но здесь тоже можно доказать, что в таком-то учреждении заражение произошло, но что по вине конкретного медицинского работника — это тоже достаточно сложно»— сообщил эпидемиолог.



US: The SERO Project looks back at its achievements in 2018

SERO Project, January 2019 Newsletter – The Year in Review
January 24, 2019

January 2019 Newsletter

Table of Contents

HIV is Not a Crime III

HIV is Not a Crime III Training Academy (HINAC III), produced by Sero in partnership with the Positive Women’s Network-USA, educated and trained 245 advocates from 36 U.S. states and six countries (Canada, Mexico, Belize, Germany, UK, and Colombia).
The gathering was held June 3-6, 2018, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with in-state organization partners, the Indiana HIV Modernization Movement, and Brothers United
HINAC III included a two-day Black United Leadership Institute (BULI) pre-conference for 50 participants, to elevate leadership of Black people, especially PLHIV, in state-level efforts to address HIV criminalization. The full report from the 2018 HINAC Training Academy can be read here.
The inaugural HIV is Not a Crime (HINAC I) event was held at Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa, in June 2014. HINAC II was held in May 2016 at the University of Alabama/Huntsville, with 297 participants from 34 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and four countries (Mexico, Canada, England, and Germany). 
Planning is now underway for HINAC IV, date and location to be announced soon.


Sero video from HINAC III for Day With(out) Art 2018: Alternate Endings, Activist Risings

Sero supporter Mark S. King worked with Visual AIDS to create a video at HINAC III as part of Visual AIDS Day With(out) Art 2018: Alternate Endings, Activist Risings. Thank you to Mark and Visual AIDS, as well as Stacy Jennings, Billy Willis III, Susan Mull, Shyronn Jones, and Contonnia Turner, all featured in the video.


Network Empowerment Project: Tools to Strengthen a Movement

Sero’s Network Empowerment Project was inspired by the Denver Principles and other PLHIV self-empowerment initiatives and launched to facilitate the creation and strengthening of PLHIV networks, whether they are focused on advocacy, education, recreation, provision of services, or social support.
PLHIV networks improve health outcomes for people living with HIV as well as contribute to stigma reduction and improve advocacy outcomes. PLHIV Networks enable us to:

  • Determine our own agenda(s), rather than having them defined by others;
  • Choose our own priorities and strategies;
  • Select and hold accountable leadership of our own choosing;
  • Speak with a collective voice.

When we create community and work together, our voices are heard more clearly, and we have a greater influence on the policymaking that so profoundly affects our lives. PLHIV networks also have traditionally been the incubators from which emerges new PLHIV leadership.
NEP’s online tool kit provides resources, research, and contacts to help create and strengthen PLHIV networks.

Sing Your Song: PLHIV Networks Change Lives

On December 1, 2018, World AIDS Day, Sero released a new video about PLHIV networks, filmed at the Mississippi Positive Network‘s “We, the Positive” summit in Jackson, Mississippi in October 2018. It is a moving illustration of the power of networks to change lives and strengthen the voice of PLHIV.


State Updates

Texas: A Network is Born

In May 2017, history was made when Texans living with HIV, from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Beaumont, and elsewhere, created the Texans Living With HIV Network. Venita Ray, a woman living with HIV who helped organize the meeting, said, “TLHIV will be a collective voice for all Texans, ensuring that we are involved with all policies and decisions that impact our quality of life.”

“TLHIV will continue the legacy of involvement by people living with HIV embodied in the Denver Principles,” says Ray, who also serves as deputy director of Positive Women’s Network-USA. “Nothing about us without us!”

Sero staffers Tami Haught and Robert Suttle, along with facilitator Laura McTighe, were on hand at the gathering, which was supported by Sero and the Southern AIDS Coalition.

Michigan Passes HIV Criminalization Reform

Excerpt from Michigan Makes Strides in HIV Disclosure Law press release], published by Michigan Coalition for HIV Health and Safety:

January 8, 2019 – LANSING, MI. After five years of work by the Michigan Coalition for HIV Health and Safety with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), advocates living with HIV and other national and local partners, Michigan’s HIV disclosure law has been modernized.

The new legislation, HB 6020 and HB 6021, was introduced by State House Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and was supported by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. After passing both chambers, the bill was presented to Governor Snyder who signed the bill December 27, 2018.

Previously, a person living with HIV (PLHIV) could face a felony up to 4 years in prison for not disclosing their HIV status prior to any type of sexual penetration. The degree of risk of HIV transmission was not a factor in the statute; including circumstances where there was no HIV transmission, nor even any risk of HIV transmission.

The amended law removes those living with HIV who are on treatment and virally suppressed—posing no risk of transmitting HIV—from being subject to prosecution. It also narrows the scope of sexual activities subject to prosecution, from “any type of sexual penetration to only “vaginal and anal sex.” Oral sex, which poses no or negligible risk of transmission regardless of whether the person with HIV is on treatment or virally suppressed, is no longer subject to prosecution.

View the full press release here.

Virginia is for (Justice) Lovers

In November, Ending HIV Criminalization and Over Incarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA) and Sero hosted a strategic planning meeting for service providers, grassroots activists, public health professionals, legal experts, and PLHIV to engage across differences; strengthen connections to broader struggles for racial, gender, economic, and health justice; and to develop shared values and priorities in the movement to end HIV criminalization in Virginia.

Georgia: HIV Rural Research and Training Conference

Sero hosted a workshop on HIV criminalization at the HIV Rural Research and Training Conference in Savannah, Georgia in September 2018. The workshop focused on strategies and tools to advance HIV criminalization reform efforts and, specifically, to update attendees on legislative reform efforts underway in Georgia and Florida.

Jack White III, co-director of THRIVE SS‘s Political and Social Action Network, presented current efforts of the Georgia HIV Justice Coalition. Sero’s Kamaria Laffrey discussed successes and challenges the Florida HIV Justice Coalition has experienced.

Sero’s Tami Haught and Cindy Stine led a discussion on building a diverse coalition of PLHIV; medical, public health, and legal professionals; and AIDS service, healthcare, and faith-based organizations to mobilize for change. 

To get involved with the Georgia HIV Justice Coalition, contact Johnnie Ray Kornegay III at For information about theFlorida HIV Justice Coalition, contact Kamaria Laffrey at

Florida: Learning from the Legislative Process

Efforts in the Florida legislature to modernize HIV-related statutes made progress in 2017 and 2018. After a day-long stakeholders planning session in October, 2018, the Florida HIV Justice Coalition is now organizing for the 2019 legislative session.

Sero’s Kamaria Laffrey coordinates the Florida HIV Justice Coalition and works closely with its steering committee to expand their coalition of advocates and allies to share a clear, unified message with the community, media, and legislators on the detrimental effects of HIV criminalization.
The Steering Committee includes representatives from ACLU-FL, Lambda Legal, AHF, Sero Project, PWN, Southern Poverty Law Center, SAVE, Equality FL, The AIDS Institute, and Sex Workers Outreach Project. Kamaria also works on a regional training program to groom leaders, particularly women living with HIV, to educate and mobilize on HIV criminalization issues across Florida.

Pennsylvania: PLHIV Organizing in the Keystone State

Sero, Positive Women’s Network-Philadelphia, and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania are working together to raise awareness of HIV-related stigma, discrimination, and criminalization in Pennsylvania.
Last May, Sero’s Sean Strub participated on a panel discussion at the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania with Julie Graham, a criminalization survivor, Alder Health Service’s Rosemary Brown, and Ronda Goldfein, Esq., executive director of the PA AIDS Law Project. Strub and Goldfein participated on a similar panel held in the Lehigh Valley at Northampton Community College.
In September, a delegation including Waheedah Shabazz-El (PWN-USA), Teresa Sullivan (PWN-Philadelphia), Andrea Johnson (PWN-Philadelphia), Adrian Shanker and Atticus Ranck (Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center in Allentown), Adrian Lowe (PA AIDS Law Project), as well as Strub and Goldfein, met with Pennsylvania Surgeon General Rachel Levine and her staff to review a range of HIV-related issues.
A statewide strategic planning session is scheduled for February 2019 to coordinate plans for launching a new Pennsylvania PLHIV HIV Justice Network.
If you are interested in joining the movement to create a statewide network in PA, contact:


Idaho Moving Forward

The Idaho Coalition for HIV Health and Safety hosted a 2-day strategic planning meeting September 25-26, 2018. The meeting focused on drafting a modernization bill, messaging and advocacy organizing strategy.

North Carolina HIV Advocacy Conference

Sero’s Tami Haught joined Carolyn McAllaster (Duke HIV/AIDS Law Clinic), Jacquelyn Clymore (NC HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Director), Alicia Diggs (Positive Wellness Alliance), and Jeffery Edwards-Knight (Mecklenburg County Public Health) at the 2018 NC HIV Advocacy Conference: Building Power Across the Spectrum.

The opening plenary, “HIV Criminalization in North Carolina: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going,” presented changes in North Carolina’s HIV control measures, reviewed task force processes, and discussed the interaction between state and county health officials and where North Carolina fits within national efforts to end HIV criminalization.

North Carolina AIDS Action Network debuted this short video.

International AIDS Conference

At the 22nd International AIDS Conference, held in Amsterdam in July 2018, Sero helped make awareness of and action addressing HIV criminalization a priority:

Sero co-sponsored a pre-conference, Beyond Blame 2018: Challenging HIV Criminalization.

Sero’s Robert Suttle spoke on a panel at the conference’s opening plenary (Robert’s comments begin at 1:38:00). Right after Robert’s eloquent comments, Sir Elton John and Prince Harry came on stage for their presentation!

An Expert Consensus Statement on the Science of HIV in the Context of the Criminal Law was released at a press conference with representatives from the International AIDS Society, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, UNAIDS, Sero, and HIV Justice Worldwide. The statement, now endorsed by more than 70 of the most respected HIV scientists, physicians, and researchers in the world, was also published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society.

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, the President of the International AIDS Socity, listens intently as Kerry Thomas, a member of Sero’s board of directors, spoke at the press conference by telephone from the prison in Idaho where he is incarcerated and serving a 30-year sentence for HIV non-disclosure, despite using condoms and having had an undetectable viral load.

Sero’s Kamaria Laffrey (left) spoke at the march that opened the conference, joined by Laela Wilding and Quinn Tivey, icon AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter and great-grandson, who are continuing Dame Elizabeth’s legacy through their work with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.


Dear Sero Project supporters and allies,

Working to end HIV-related stigma, discrimination, and criminalization can be frustrating or disheartening, especially for those who suffer the most extreme consequences of such injustice. That’s partly because HIV stigma bias is, unfortunately, rising rather than declining. Even as we make progress in our efforts to end HIV criminalization—and we have made progress this year—the road ahead stretches long into the future.

Decades ago, I first viewed my AIDS activism as a temporary priority, something that could be fixed and then I could move on with other endeavors and priorities in my life. My perspective changed over time, as it did for others, because we learned, or experienced, how inextricably HIV-related injustices are linked to other injustices. Even as effective therapy changed what it meant to live with HIV, it only brought those other injustices into starker relief.

Eventually, I stopped looking for where the road ended, for some mythical point in the future when all will be well, and came to understood that activism was a defining value in my life, fundamental to my purpose. A similar commitment is reflected in Sero’s staff—Robert Suttle, Tami Haught, Ken Pinkela, Kamaria Laffrey, Cindy Stine, and Gonzalo Aburto—and it is shared by so many partners, allies, and comrades in the broader community of those fighting to end HIV criminalization. I salute all of them and I salute you.

Let’s hope 2019 brings a renewed respect for people living with HIV and many more allies in our struggle for justice for all.


Sean Strub
Executive Director


Sero at Harvard Law School

Last March, Sero’s Executive Director, Sean Strub, participated on a panelCreating a Viral Underclass, at an event at Harvard Law School organized by Harvard Law School Lambda, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, and the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation.


Sero Holiday Card Project

Every year, Sero’s Cindy Stine coordinates a Holiday Card project to send cards to incarcerated people, mostly people living with HIV or other chronic health conditions. Volunteers all over the U.S. prepare cards according to the restrictions imposed by prison officials (no glitter, colored paper, etc.) Cindy collects the cards and sends them to the recipients to let them know there is a community that cares about them and is thinking of them, especially over the holidays.

Media Watch: Sero in the News


Many thanks to Allison Nichol, Sero’s Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, for her dedication and commitment to the rights of people living with HIV. Allison has taken a new full-time position as Director of Legal Advocacy for the Epilepsy Foundation of America. We are grateful that she will continue to work with Sero on several projects in a pro bono capacity, and we wish her the best of luck in this new role.


Thank You

Sero’s work is made possible by contributions from many donors, including major support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, H. van Ameringen Foundation, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Ittleson Foundation, ViiV, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and the Levi Strauss Foundation. Please support Sero’s work by donating online.


US: Oklahoma State House representative files bill that would amend the law criminalising the transmission of STIs

Legislation would change STD criminal statutes
January 24, 2019

Legislation would change STD criminal statutes

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma lawmaker filed a bill that would amend the state’s criminal statutes regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Specifically, the bill would increase the number of behaviors considered criminal but reclassify all of the crimes as misdemeanors.

Oklahoma already has a law that criminalizes the knowing and deceptive transmission of infections, such as syphilis, smallpox and HIV. If a person keeps the diagnosis a secret from a partner and gives the partner the disease, the resident could face a felony.

Newly elected Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Oklahoma City, filed the measure that would add a slew of diseases to the list and expound on the kind of behavior considered criminal, but it would drop the maximum penalty.

House Bill 1858 would add about half a dozen diseases to the state statute on STDs. That includes some household names, such as genital herpes and chlamydia. However, it also includes several diseases that aren’t common in the United States or other developed countries, such as chancroid and granuloma inguinale.

Under current law, residents are culpable if they are infected and intentionally or recklessly spread their infections. Fugate’s bill would change that standard. The proposal would affect residents who know they are infected and either intentionally spread it or engage in conduct that poses a substantial risk of transmission while the other person is unaware the resident is infected.

The bill creates an exemption for residents who are undergoing treatment and have displayed good faith in complying with their physician’s prescribed regimen. It also exempts residents who are following behaviors recommended by a public health official, such as using condoms.

Current law makes these crimes a felony and punishable by at least two but up to five years in state prison. The new law would drop that to a misdemeanor, which could carry a sentence of up to one year in county jail or a fine of $1,000.

Fugate did not respond to requests for comment.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported in August that the state saw 31,779 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in 2017, an increase from 29,716 reported in 2016. The most significant increase was found in the number of syphilis cases, with an increase of 36.5 percent in one year. Reports indicate an increase of nearly 20 percent in the number of gonorrhea cases.

The United Health Foundation released America’s Health Rankings in December, in which it ranked Oklahoma 47th in overall health. The same data showed that Oklahoma’s rate of chlamydia far outpaced the nation’s. Oklahomans were diagnosed at a rate of 548.4 per 100,000, whereas nationally the rate was 497.3 per 100,000. Oklahoma came in at 38th in terms of chlamydia diagnoses. Alaska came in at 50th with 771.6 cases per 100,000.

Nicole McAfee is the Smart Justice Campaign manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. She said Oklahomans on each side of the aisle are working to reform the criminal justice system, and that will require approaching issues like this one differently.

“What we ultimately need to do is decarcerate our prisons and jails,” her written statement says in part. “That requires thinking twice about our immediate reaction to use carceral punishment as a response to a public health crisis.”

[Update]Canada: Man living sentenced 3.5 years for HIV non-disclosure despite wearing a condom, released on bail pending appeal hearing

Man convicted of not disclosing HIV status released pending appeal
January 21, 2019

Source: Sootoday, Published on January 21, 2019

Man convicted of not disclosing HIV status released pending appeal


He was sentenced to 3.5 years in November.

The province’s top court has released XX from custody pending the Sault Ste. Marie man’s appeal of his aggravated sexual assault convictions.

Superior Court Justice Edward Gareau sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison on Nov. 19 for failing to disclose his HIV status to three sexual partners.

The Ontario Court of Appeal granted the 28-year-old bail last month as he awaits a hearing on his appeal, his lawyer Jennifer Tremblay-Hall said Monday.

X was convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, following a trial where the court heard testimony from a trio of women who met him through a dating website.

The offences occurred between July 2013 and April 2014.


Published in Sootoday on November 20, 2017

HIV-positive man going to penitentiary for aggravated sex assaults

He used a condom, but the judge noted because he wasn’t taking antiretroviral medication it was possible he could have transmitted the virus.

X was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs Monday, after he was imprisoned for 3.5 years for failing to disclose his HIV status to three sexual partners.

Superior Court Justice Edward Gareau imposed the 42-month penitentiary term following the local man’s conviction a year ago on three counts of aggravated sexual assault involving a trio of women.

“Mr. X violated the trust of the complainants,” the judge said. “Mr. X exploited the complainants and was dishonest with them to satisfy his own sexual interests and desires.” 

The offences occurred between July 2013 and April 2014 with women he had met through a dating website.

A publication ban protects the identity of the victims.

Gareau noted that although X had used a condom during his acts with the complainants, he was not taking antiretroviral medication and his viral counts were not low, resulting in a realistic possibility that the HIV virus would be transmitted. 

“This, in my view, reflects on his moral culpability and although he ignored the warnings and advice of the public health officials, his condom use places him in the category of being reckless as opposed to intentionally trying to transmit the HIV virus.”

Gareau imposed three consecutive prison terms for the 28-year-old’s actions – 18 months on one count and 12 months each for the other offences.

He described X as “particularly cruel and cavalier” in the count that drew the lengthier sentence.

The complainant was medically vulnerable – she had disclosed to X that she had leukemia, and had undergone chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, the judge said.

“Yet he took no steps to disclose his HIV status,” Gareau said, indicating this is an “aggravating factor of some significance” that set the woman apart from the other victims.

In his sentencing decision, he also pointed to one of the other women’s “powerful” victim statement that provided a “clear demonstration of the devastating and negative impact” X had on the victims.

The woman’s emotional pain was apparent as she read her statement to the court in September, Gareau said.

She described her shock and disbelief on Oct.31, 2014, when she read an online news report about X’s charges and condition which put her at risk.

“I was distraught,” she told the court, outlining how she had hurt her now former husband, the person “I had loved the most,” and destroyed their relationship.

The following three months, she was in despair and suicidal, and in June 2015 “my life as I knew it was over.” 

The woman said she took responsibility for what she had done, moved out on her own, and penniless, with the help of friends somehow managed to survive.

“I couldn’t complete simple tasks, because I felt so much shame and regret,” she said, detailing how she cried every day for two years.

“Hiding my shame was eating me alive,” the woman said, also indicating “taking responsibility is the only way to move forward.”

She told Gareau a jail sentence for X won’t make this better or take any of the pain away.

“But it would make me feel better, knowing that the victims aren’t the only ones shouldering this burden,” she said. “The defendant needs jail time.”

When he imposed sentence, Gareau spoke about a number of mitigating factors, including X’s lack of a criminal record and positive pre-sentence report.

During his discussions with the report’s author, X had expressed “remorse for his actions and the impact on the victims.” 

This, along with X’s statement to the court before sentencing, satisfied him that the man’s “feeling of remorse is genuine,” the judge said, calling it a positive mitigating factor.

Prosecutor Dana Peterson was seeking a global sentence of five years. Defence lawyer Jennifer Tremblay-Hall suggested a suspended sentence, with 12-to-18 months probation and strict conditions, which would amount to house arrest.

Gareau noted that in sentencing for this type of offence, “the principles of denunciation and deterrence remain paramount.”

He also indicated that in sentencing X he had kept in mind Criminal Code provisions which state “Where consecutive sentences are imposed, the combined sentence should not be unduly long or harsh.”

In addition to the prison sentence, X must provide a DNA sample for the national database and is prohibited from possessing firearms for 10 years.

As well, he must register as a sex offender for life.


UK: Man previously convicted for HIV non-disclosure faces significant prison sentence for breaching court order to disclose

Brixham repeat HIV sex offender faces ’significant’ jail term
January 19, 2019

Source: BBC, published on January 19, 2019

Brixham repeat HIV sex offender faces ‘significant’ jail term

A man living with HIV is facing a “significant jail term” for having sex with a woman without telling her he has the virus.

Under the terms of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), the man, 57, has to tell anyone he is in a relationship with about his condition.

X, from Brixham, Devon, admitted breaching the order between 18 August and 4 September, at Exeter Crown Court.

He has served two previous prison sentences for breaching the order.

The court heard he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a second breach of the SOPO by having contact with a child under the age of 16 without the contact being approved by social services and without the person supervising knowing about his convictions.


Judge David Evans ordered the preparation of a pre-sentence report on X “dealing specifically” with the risk he poses to others.

“You have pleaded guilty to both of these serious offences,” he said.

“You understand that you will be sentenced to a significant term of custody in due course.”

In 2005, X, who then went by another name, became one of the first people in Britain to be convicted of recklessly infecting someone with HIV.

The then 44-year-old infected admitted knowingly infecting an 82-year-old woman.

He was jailed for three years and three months and made a subject of the SOPO.

He previously admitted breaching the order in September 2014 by having sex with a woman without telling her about his condition and was also jailed.

He was remanded into custody and will be sentenced on 15 February.

US: Wisconsin man charged with recklessly endangering safety for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Police: Man failed to tell sex partners he was HIV–positive
January 13, 2019

Source: Channel 3000, published on January 11, 2019

Police: Man failed to tell sex partners he was HIV-positive

WATERFORD, Wis. – A Waterford man is accused of failing to tell six people he was HIV-positive before having unprotected sex with them.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney says the 42-year-old is charged with six counts of recklessly endangering safety. He faces a maximum penalty of 84 years in prison.

The criminal complaint says one of his victims has tested HIV-positive since having sex with him.

X had allegedly met four of his victims at a tattoo shop in West Allis where he was working.

X has been prosecuted and convicted twice previously for the same crime. Authorities say that as a condition of his last sentence, he was ordered to inform any sexual partner of his HIV status.

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