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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Puma wrote:
linanil wrote:
There are a lot of good resources for learning about HIV/AIDS. As someone who was a partial caretaker for someone who died of AIDS, it is a bit of a shock to me that people with treatment no longer die of AIDs. And not to scare you, not sure why the focus would be on HIV but there are also things like Hepatitis which spread in a similar fashion.

http://aids.gov is a good starting point for research on HIV and AIDS.

I was thinking the same thing about Hepatitis. Melly was he ONLY tested for HIV? Can't the mother be forced to let the child be tested? Like a either let us test him or we charge him with assault? Can't he call the union?*

Teachers are union everywhere right?


I don't think forcing medical information from an emotionally disturbed child under threat of assault charges is a rational or humane response to the situation. What if the mother still doesn't want to do it? Send the child (whose age isn't even specified) to prison?

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:57 pm 
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suzukibeane wrote:
There is just absolutely no reason to force this child to take an HIV test or to get access to his medical records. If it was an issue of whether to take antiretrovirals, by the time the child's test results came back, it would be too late for Melly's partner to start them (for prevention reasons). And other than that, the only thing that really matters is whether Melly's partner is HIV positive, so he needs to be tested regardless. Finding out now whether the child was HIV positive won't change Melly's partner's results, and attempting to "force" someone into revealing HIV status, particularly in a situation in which the odds of transmission are miniscule, sets a horrible precedent.

I am sympathetic toward the concern, which I imagine was just caused by the bureaucratic recommendation that he get tested, because HIV is a scary word and being told you should be tested for it can cause irrational panic, even if you know it's irrational. But irrational fear, even if understandable, does not mean that the actual facts should be ignored or the child's right violated.


Well said. As a parent I find this whole scenario pretty horrifying... for the mom of the child. If my kid bit someone (he's not overly violent, but he is a toddler) I would be incensed if they thought they should then have access to his medical records or force us to get him tested when the actual risk of transmitting anything was SO incredibly low.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:18 pm 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
Well said. As a parent I find this whole scenario pretty horrifying... for the mom of the child. If my kid bit someone (he's not overly violent, but he is a toddler) I would be incensed if they thought they should then have access to his medical records or force us to get him tested when the actual risk of transmitting anything was SO incredibly low.


Especially if it was combined with the assumption that you're the "type" who would transmit HIV to your child.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:31 pm 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
suzukibeane wrote:
There is just absolutely no reason to force this child to take an HIV test or to get access to his medical records. If it was an issue of whether to take antiretrovirals, by the time the child's test results came back, it would be too late for Melly's partner to start them (for prevention reasons). And other than that, the only thing that really matters is whether Melly's partner is HIV positive, so he needs to be tested regardless. Finding out now whether the child was HIV positive won't change Melly's partner's results, and attempting to "force" someone into revealing HIV status, particularly in a situation in which the odds of transmission are miniscule, sets a horrible precedent.

I am sympathetic toward the concern, which I imagine was just caused by the bureaucratic recommendation that he get tested, because HIV is a scary word and being told you should be tested for it can cause irrational panic, even if you know it's irrational. But irrational fear, even if understandable, does not mean that the actual facts should be ignored or the child's right violated.


Well said. As a parent I find this whole scenario pretty horrifying... for the mom of the child. If my kid bit someone (he's not overly violent, but he is a toddler) I would be incensed if they thought they should then have access to his medical records or force us to get him tested when the actual risk of transmitting anything was SO incredibly low.


I definitely agree with this.... I don't think any of his medical information should be shared with us. My partner is just frustrated that no one can give him a definite answer-- that he has to wait around for a few weeks for the first results, and then again until his follow-up appointment.

My partner and I had absolutely no concerns when he was bit. He called me and I said, "Oh that sucks." We didn't think twice about it. The school told him that he needed to go to urgent care to have a tetanus shot as well as tests for hepatitis and HIV. This is when he began to ruminate and focus on the possibility of infection.

When he was tested at urgent care, the physician didn't really provide him with much information or reassurance, which I think is what he was looking for. He just wanted the doctor to say exactly what you all have said-- that the chances are nearly zero and that his fear is not warranted. Unfortunately, the doctor didn't do that and this sent him into a spiral of emotions. I've been trying to reassure him, I've provided him with research and statistics, but he's still really upset.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Well a doctor doesn't want to say 'his chances are nearly zero' because you never know. What if your partner has HIV/Hep due to some other reason (from a doctors perspective)? There is nothing really to be done other than test, know the chances are slim and wait to be cleared.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:48 pm 
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melly wrote:
My partner and I had absolutely no concerns when he was bit. He called me and I said, "Oh that sucks." We didn't think twice about it. The school told him that he needed to go to urgent care to have a tetanus shot as well as tests for hepatitis and HIV. This is when he began to ruminate and focus on the possibility of infection.

When he was tested at urgent care, the physician didn't really provide him with much information or reassurance, which I think is what he was looking for. He just wanted the doctor to say exactly what you all have said-- that the chances are nearly zero and that his fear is not warranted. Unfortunately, the doctor didn't do that and this sent him into a spiral of emotions. I've been trying to reassure him, I've provided him with research and statistics, but he's still really upset.


Yeah, I think this points to the real problem here, which is the overall panic and misinformation that still surrounds HIV, even in the medical community and among law enforcement. It was completely irresponsible for the school and hospital to suggest that your partner be tested for HIV without giving a full explanation of the real risk and the routine reasons for this kind of overcautious behavior.

I watched an episode of Law and Order: SVU recently that I was completely outraged by and could not figure out why the internet did not show everyone else feeling the same outrage. Stabler and Benson were trying to prosecute an HIV positive man for murder for having casual/anonymous, unprotected, but CONSENSUAL sex with a lot of women and infecting them with HIV. (He did not tell them he was positive, but they also did not ask, did not request test results, and did not ask to use a condom - not to say he wasn't a crasshole, but adults need to take responsibility for the risks they take by having unprotected sex with a stranger). And at one point, he spit on Olivia and she said "What, are you trying to give it to me now?" I was like, "I'm sorry - what year is this?"

Like I said, while your partner's strong fear is obviously irrational, it's also understandable. We all have things that we are scared of or upset about even when we know they're irrational and know all the statistics (it's kind of the whole idea behind irrational fear) and once something is in your head, it's hard to turn it around. I think the main thing to realize is just that even though he may not be able to convince himself now to stop feeling scared, a few weeks (and even 3 months) is not as long as it sounds, and soon enough this will be behind him.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Have you considered that maybe they want to test your partner just in case he's already HIV positive and may have passed it on to the child through his blood?

I get that HIV is scary, but this thread is kind of ridiculous.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:15 pm 
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One more thing: if your partner was exposed to Hepatitis, he won't get Hep C from a bite (it's blood-borne). Hepatitis A and B are curable. So, still not much to worry about.

*he he...I misspelled hepatitis as "hepatitus"...guess I was going with a Roman theme.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Adah wrote:
Have you considered that maybe they want to test your partner just in case he's already HIV positive and may have passed it on to the child through his blood?


That wouldn't make any sense because the school/hospital would not be allowed to release her partner's test results to the child's family, just as they can't release information about the child to him. If they were concerned about the child, they would have to do the same thing they did here and advise the mother to have the child tested for his own safety.

Not saying anyone was correct to worry that the child might have infected her partner, just saying that is obviously the concern the school was responding to.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Sounds like homeboy was gonna worry no matter what happened after the term "HIV" was uttered, so it's pointless to hash out or try to blame anyone. He's going to have to wait it out and worry, but most of us have. It sucks. You get over it and are happy when it's over.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:48 pm 
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suzukibeane wrote:

I watched an episode of Law and Order: SVU recently that I was completely outraged by and could not figure out why the internet did not show everyone else feeling the same outrage. Stabler and Benson were trying to prosecute an HIV positive man for murder for having casual/anonymous, unprotected, but CONSENSUAL sex with a lot of women and infecting them with HIV. (He did not tell them he was positive, but they also did not ask, did not request test results, and did not ask to use a condom - not to say he wasn't a crasshole, but adults need to take responsibility for the risks they take by having unprotected sex with a stranger).


One of my high school friends had an HIV positive brother who did the same thing. He got his girlfriend pregnant twice without her knowing that he had HIV. You're right about people taking responsibility, but what kind of jackoff gets someone pregnant and doesn't even say, "Hey, uh...you need to get tested.", not once, but twice? The kids were thankfully born uninfected, but their father is dead, and I don't know how their mom is doing but i'm not going to blame her for trusting a crasshole. Lots of people in committed relationships have unprotected sex because they trust their partner. If their partner is infected, knows it, and doesn't tell them, how is that their fault?

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:52 pm 
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If I recall correctly, in that episode, the guy was infecting people on purpose and was a crasshole.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Isn't that illegal? To infect on purpose? Or did someone who just saw that episode tell me that thinking everything on tv is real life?

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:02 pm 
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well, law and order is "ripped from the headlines" so I assume everything on it is true.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Isn't that illegal? To infect on purpose? Or did someone who just saw that episode tell me that thinking everything on tv is real life?


Its illegal, people have actually been charged for it.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:06 pm 
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It sounds like you don't need to be worried. Even if he had HIV, which sounds unlikely, you wouldn't need to be very worried. I got a needle stick from someone who was known to have HIV. There wasn't a lot of blood on it and it was a very small needle. They told me that it was optional for me to take the prophylactic meds and that it was still a low risk, even though we knew he had HIV. I did take the meds and it wasn't too bad. It did give some GI symptoms and I lost more hair than usual (not noticeable on my head, just in the shower), but everything turned out good so far. I'm not really worried about it, although I still have a 6 month test to do. Also, they told me if I don't have it at 6 months, I won't get it at 12 months, but they still do a 12 month check here because we are in healthcare and they are extra cautious.

The reason that the place I work for made (or "strongly encouraged") that I get an HIV test is so that if I were to get HIV from that needle stick, it could be shown that I didn't have it before from some other cause. That is very important for workman's comp and also for science, because they track things like that. For example, if I did get it, I would be the first case of a dentist getting it from a patient, so I'd be famous! I'm happy not to be famous.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:43 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
If their partner is infected, knows it, and doesn't tell them, how is that their fault?


Of course, but that's totally different than meeting a stranger for anonymous sex, not asking if they have an STI, not asking them to wear a condom, and then trying to press charges when you get an STI from them. Which is what the episode was about. People don't have a responsibility to be paranoid, but they do have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions.

ijustdiedinside wrote:
If I recall correctly, in that episode, the guy was infecting people on purpose and was a crasshole.


He definitely was a huge crasshole. He wasn't necessarily out with the GOAL of infecting people, but he was purposely not disclosing his status and having unprotected sex. But there is a difference between something a person should be morally culpable for and something a person should be legally culpable for.

And the episode was offensive not only because they tried to prosecute him, but because of Benson's suggestion that you could get HIV from someone spitting in your face and the medical examiner saying that the murder victim would have died young anyway, because she was HIV positive. It was last season, so it's not as though this episode aired years ago before new treatments and information on HIV were available.

But this is the spa, not the parlor, so I don't want to start a big argument about HIV stigma and discrimination.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:06 pm 
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suzukibeane wrote:
But there is a difference between something a person should be morally culpable for and something a person should be legally culpable for.

There is, but I'm not sure why that's relevant, given that there's a long-standing legal tradition of gross criminal negligence.

More importantly...

Quote:
Of course, but that's totally different than meeting a stranger for anonymous sex, not asking if they have an STI, not asking them to wear a condom, and then trying to press charges when you get an STI from them. Which is what the episode was about. People don't have a responsibility to be paranoid, but they do have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions.


...there's also a difference between causal responsibility and criminal (and moral) responsibility. Not wearing your seatbelt is dumb, but if you get hit by a drunk driver, I'm not going to say, "Well, you should have been wearing your seatbelt."

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:41 pm 
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tinglepants! wrote:
My guess is that it was because the school insisted melly's partner get a tetanus shot/HIV test, but that's probably just standard bureaucratic procedure.



All schools I've taught in, this is the standard procedure for any bodily fluid contact, including feces. I had feces hit me in the face two years ago and go in my mouth where I had open sores... from a kid that it's a .0001% chance he had HIV. But I still did all the testing for it. I refused the anti-viral though since I was sure the kid was no risk. But the legal and workers comp side of it is to be sure the employee's not infected. They can't make the kid get tested but they strongly suggest to the employee if they got hurt at work. It's a cover your asparagus kind of thing, and most schools are experts at cover your asparagus.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:47 pm 
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assilembob wrote:
tinglepants! wrote:
My guess is that it was because the school insisted melly's partner get a tetanus shot/HIV test, but that's probably just standard bureaucratic procedure.



All schools I've taught in, this is the standard procedure for any bodily fluid contact, including feces. I had feces hit me in the face two years ago and go in my mouth where I had open sores... from a kid that it's a .0001% chance he had HIV. But I still did all the testing for it. I refused the anti-viral though since I was sure the kid was no risk. But the legal and workers comp side of it is to be sure the employee's not infected. They can't make the kid get tested but they strongly suggest to the employee if they got hurt at work. It's a cover your asparagus kind of thing, and most schools are experts at cover your asparagus.


Thats horrible! And you just convinced me I don't want to teach.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:56 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
suzukibeane wrote:
But there is a difference between something a person should be morally culpable for and something a person should be legally culpable for.

There is, but I'm not sure why that's relevant, given that there's a long-standing legal tradition of gross criminal negligence.

More importantly...

Quote:
Of course, but that's totally different than meeting a stranger for anonymous sex, not asking if they have an STI, not asking them to wear a condom, and then trying to press charges when you get an STI from them. Which is what the episode was about. People don't have a responsibility to be paranoid, but they do have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions.


...there's also a difference between causal responsibility and criminal (and moral) responsibility. Not wearing your seatbelt is dumb, but if you get hit by a drunk driver, I'm not going to say, "Well, you should have been wearing your seatbelt."


No, but driving drunk is, in and of itself, illegal in all 50 states. Knowingly exposing another person to HIV is not illegal in all states, and in those that it is, it requires not only that a person know he is positive, fail to disclose, and fail to use a condom, but also that he acts with the specific intent to infect the other person.

In most cases, including in the episode I mentioned, voluntary HIV exposure is prosecuted under murder or attempted murder statutes. The odds of transmission from an infected male to an uninfected female during unprotected vaginal intercourse are between 1:1000 to 1:100,000. Combining that with an average life expectancy of nearly 70 years for an individual infected with HIV by age 20 who takes antiretrovirals, it hardly seems that the odds of death resulting from a single incidence of intercourse are high enough to reach the necessary mens rea for criminally negligent homicide. Furthermore, criminal negligence and recklessness are not sufficient mens rea for crimes of ATTEMPTED murder, so unless the individual had sex with the person intending to commit homicide, attempted murder is not a legitimate charge. So if you want to charge the person for negligent homicide, you will have to wait until the sex partner actually dies from AIDS.

(This then brings up an interesting question I've never really thought about before of whether a person would be guilty of assault or murder if they cause a treatable injury in another individual who then refuses treatment on religious or other grounds and dies - though I'm guessing this would fall under an eggshell plaintiff rule and the person could be prosecuted for murder).

On top of that, I'm not sure why the person who got tested and doesn't disclose the results should be considered criminally negligent, but a person who engages in risky sexual behavior (such as anonymous unprotected intercourse), voluntarily declines to get tested even in a city such as New York where fast, free, anonymous testing is available in dozens of locations, and then transmits the disease should not. Especially considering the other long-standing legal tradition of "knew or should have known" clauses in statutes.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Thats horrible! And you just convinced me I don't want to teach.


I love teaching! Special Education is the most awesome and rewarding thing ever and I miss it to this day. The days are difficult but in the end, it's awesome. Yeah, sometimes the kids fling poo but in the end, it's not horrible. The regular ed kids are the horrible ones...they can control their evil but choose not to. (sorry had a bad day today!)

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:12 pm 
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suzukibeane wrote:
No, but driving drunk is, in and of itself, illegal in all 50 states. Knowingly exposing another person to HIV is not illegal in all states, and in those that it is, it requires not only that a person know he is positive, fail to disclose, and fail to use a condom, but also that he acts with the specific intent to infect the other person.

I'm not arguing that it's illegal, but that there are readily available legal theories that allow for the criminalization of reckless or negligent transmissions of HIV. There are, in fact, countries that have done just that.

Quote:
Combining that with an average life expectancy of nearly 70 years for an individual infected with HIV by age 20 who takes antiretrovirals, it hardly seems that the odds of death resulting from a single incidence of intercourse are high enough to reach the necessary mens rea for criminally negligent homicide.

What are the odds of death resulting from a single instance of drunk driving? Pretty low.

Quote:
Furthermore, criminal negligence and recklessness are not sufficient mens rea for crimes of ATTEMPTED murder, so unless the individual had sex with the person intending to commit homicide, attempted murder is not a legitimate charge.

I didn't say anything about murder.

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So if you want to charge the person for negligent homicide, you will have to wait until the sex partner actually dies from AIDS.

I didn't say anything about homicide, either.

Quote:
On top of that, I'm not sure why the person who got tested and doesn't disclose the results should be considered criminally negligent, but a person who engages in risky sexual behavior (such as anonymous unprotected intercourse), voluntarily declines to get tested even in a city such as New York where fast, free, anonymous testing is available in dozens of locations, and then transmits the disease should not.

Because one of these behaviors is obviously a lot more dangerous than the other.

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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:29 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
suzukibeane wrote:
No, but driving drunk is, in and of itself, illegal in all 50 states. Knowingly exposing another person to HIV is not illegal in all states, and in those that it is, it requires not only that a person know he is positive, fail to disclose, and fail to use a condom, but also that he acts with the specific intent to infect the other person.

I'm not arguing that it's illegal, but that there are readily available legal theories that allow for the criminalization of reckless or negligent transmissions of HIV. There are, in fact, countries that have done just that.


And there are American states that have too. My point about legal culpability was a normative one, whether an action should be illegal, not whether current legal principles allow for such statutes to be created.


Quote:
I didn't say anything about murder.

I didn't say anything about homicide, either.


No, you didn't. But the origin of this discussion was the episode I referred to, in which the detectives were crying attempted murder, and the attempt to prosecute under existing paradigms. And most prosecutions for intentional transmission of HIV are brought under murder and attempted murder statutes.

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Quote:
On top of that, I'm not sure why the person who got tested and doesn't disclose the results should be considered criminally negligent, but a person who engages in risky sexual behavior (such as anonymous unprotected intercourse), voluntarily declines to get tested even in a city such as New York where fast, free, anonymous testing is available in dozens of locations, and then transmits the disease should not.

Because one of these behaviors is obviously a lot more dangerous than the other.


Assuming the non-tested person is negative. But if the non-tested person is positive and simply doesn't know, it is exactly as dangerous.


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 Post subject: Re: My partner may have been exposed to HIV.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:50 pm 
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suzukibeane wrote:
And there are American states that have too. My point about legal culpability was a normative one, whether an action should be illegal, not whether current legal principles allow for such statutes to be created.

I got that. I'm saying that the specific reasons you gave that it ought not be illegal (that the behavior of the person harmed is also a factor) struck me as easily surmountable, both legally and morally.

Quote:
Assuming the non-tested person is negative. But if the non-tested person is positive and simply doesn't know, it is exactly as dangerous.

I wasn't making any such assumptions. The probability that any given person will be infected with HIV is the risk of transmission multiplied by the probability that their partner is infected. Unless everyone in the world has HIV, it's always going to be more dangerous to have unprotected sex with someone knowing that you are HIV positive given that the probability that their partner (namely, you) is infected is 1.

And I think "At least some people in the world do not have HIV" is a reasonable assumption to make.

None of which is necessarily to say that I think criminalizing HIV transmission is a good idea.

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