US: Tennessee man accused of infecting woman during ‘drug holiday’, confesses to police

A 47 year-old man from Portland, Tennesseee became the 15th person to be prosecuted under Tennessee’s criminal HIV exposure laws this week after he was charged with three counts of criminal exposure to HIV.

The details of this case, as reported on the, are rather unusual since the man took a ‘drug holiday’ during his relationship with the woman, and may have been aware that his viral load would have increased during this time.

He also apparently waived his Miranda rights and confessed to his arresting officers that he had unprotected sex with the female complainant, who tested HIV-positive in December 2008, “without her knowledge or consent”.

She told police she met Tanner, 47, in December 2007 and began dating him in January 2008.

The woman alleges she had sex with him four times between April and November 2008, and three of those four times were unprotected.

Before this relationship, she had been living in abstinence, and she further told authorities Tanner was the only man she had been intimate with in several years.

According to police, the woman alleged Tanner told her [in] Nov [2008] that he had been diagnosed with positive HIV approximately 10 years before their relationship began.

Tanner reportedly told her he had been on a “holiday,” which he described as when an individual stops taking his prescribed medication.

He further told authorities he had been on the holiday approximately 10 to 12 months. The woman found out Dec. 30 she was HIV positive and claims when Tanner found out he said, “Now that you are sick like me, I can take care of you.”

Although HIV transmission is alleged to have taken place, in Tennessee this does not have to be proven for the man to be found guilty.


February 13, 2009