US: Missouri man charged after ‘HIV threats’ during arrest

An HIV-positive Missouri man has been charged with “two counts of reckless exposure to HIV” because he “scuffled” with two police officers who were trying to arrest him and shouted at them that he was HIV-positive and “hoped they would catch the virus and die.”

The report, from The Columbia Daily Tribune, takes the (non-existent) HIV transmission risk seriously probably because the policeman did.

“This is something we deal with,” [a cop] said. “It is not something that happens every day, thankfully. It’s one of those things that we’re aware of” as a risk.

[The man] was eventually subdued and taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries. The deputies also went to the hospital to begin treatment to minimize the possible risk of infection.

Unfortunately for the man, Missouri has pretty wide-ranging HIV exposure laws, which state:
“It is also unlawful for a person knowingly infected with HIV to act in a reckless manner by exposing another person to HIV without the knowledge and consent of that person…[by] purposely doing anything else which causes the HIV infected person’s semen, vaginal secretions, or blood to come into contact with the mucous membranes or nonintact skin of another person.”

It doesn’t say anything about empty threats, though. This sounds like a repeat of 2008’s Willie Campbell debacle.