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Old 05-05-2012, 11:22 PM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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With respect:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
Also would like to comment on LoveFromGirl's suggestion: prosecution will just make it more likely that people like the OP continue to be exposed to risks they don't want to take. HIV isn't passed from one person to the next by people who know they are HIV positive: it's passed on by people who don't know their status, either because they have no idea of the risks involved or they are too scared to test. Criminal prosecution practises like bashing HIV positive people who engage in consensual and protected sexual activities is only going to increase the number of people who choose not to test because they don't want to know, don't want to deal with the stigma and don't want to be possibly facing criminal charges. No knowledge of status, no case.
In an ideal world, you would be correct. Meanwhile, a quick browse through Wikipedia pulls up Nadja Benaissa, a pop singer who apparently had unprotected sex with HIV-negative individuals and infected one. Your own country went after an American who, to my neverending shame, did this to seventeen Finnish women.

"I didn't mean to" is no longer an excuse when you know what you have and that it could kill someone else. Neither is "I only wanted unprotected sex". Neither is "My doctor said my risk was near-zero." Near-zero is not zero. Antiretrovirals aren't a cure. They are a treatment. Viral loads so low transmission should not be possible do not negate the right of the one at risk to decide whether the risk is worth her while.

If this were entirely theoretical, sure. Awful laws. Bad laws. Strike 'em down. It isn't. I wish it were.

Many life-threatening if untreated and permanent STDs for which testing is available are not similarly criminalized. HIV carries unique stigma, most likely because it's a disease associated with gays, drug users and Black people.
So are the other major viral/permanent STDs, to the point where CDC investigators in the early 1980s looked to blood samples taken from those who were positive for hepatitis B for reservoirs of virus--a cohort comprised of gay men, if memory serves. Hep B, hep C, HIV, I don't hear straight white suburbanites talking about them.

I think if it's incurable and deadly without timely treatment to a previously-healthy human being, knowingly transmitting it should be a crime. This draws the line between something like herpes or HPV and something like hep C. If my liberal/progressive cred just took a hit, tough nuggets. Public health is my first concern.

Fighting the stigma associated with HIV is the only way to stop the epidemic. Condoms are effective against the infection; people need to get tested, know their HIV status and get on the medication they need. This cannot be if knowing your status carries criminal liability.
You fail to comprehend that automatically knowing one's status does not constitute liability under the law. Knowing one's status and doing nothing about it does. Both conditions must be present, I believe--any lawyers able to confirm or deny?

Adult people who engage in consensual sex are responsible for their own protection against STDs, i.e. whether they choose to use condoms or not. The OP did, and is reaping the benefits as we speak.
If an adult lies to another adult about her status, how can the second adult possibly make an informed decision? The second adult believes her risk is reduced and acts accordingly. Don't put responsibility on the shoulders of someone who hasn't been given the full story even when she asks for it. It is that second adult's right to decide whether she wishes to risk her health, full stop, not the first adult's right to decide for her because--what, the second might refuse sex?

And if those two adults are fluid-bonded, except that one has had an affair and decided not to disclose any of the consequences to her partner? What then?

Two situations off the top of my head where consensual sex isn't necessarily the issue, unless you are willing to define the withholding of a critical piece of information as rape or coercion.
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