US: Oklahoma woman charged with HIV exposure for biting




Woman with AIDS faces felony for bite: spreading the disease could bring possible life sentence

October 9, 2008

An Oklahoma City woman was charged Wednesday with trying to pass the virus that causes AIDS to a security guard who caught her shoplifting last month.

FW allegedly bit the guard Sept. 29 while he was detaining her. The guard said he saw her stealing a battery charger from Lowe’s, 3801 N May Ave., court papers allege.

The bite broke the skin, meaning the man had to be tested for HIV because FW 50, has AIDS, court papers state.

FW could be sentenced to life in prison if she is convicted of engaging in conduct likely to transfer the virus.

Editorial comment

Another person in the US has been charged under HIV exposure laws for biting.

According to the brief story on, biting someone if you are HIV-positive can result in a life sentence.

Wrong! Oklahoma Statute § 1192.1 states it is “unlawful for any person — knowing he or she has HIV and with intent to infect another — to engage in conduct reasonably likely to result in the transfer of the person’s own blood, bodily fluids containing visible blood, semen or vaginal secretions into the bloodstream of another, or through the skin or other membranes of another person, except during in utero transmission of blood or bodily fluids, if the other person did not consent to the transfer or consented without first having been informed that the offender had HIV.”

The maximum sentence is 5 years.

Since the story doesn’t specifically say there was blood in the woman’s saliva, then I’m guessing this charge will go nowhere – unless she’s unlucky enough to have a judge who is ignorant of HIV transmission risks from biting (and the fact that Oklahoma law does not make this act illegal). On the other hand, plenty of people believe biting is a common way to transmit HIV.