HIV Is Not A Crime!

Categories: HIV


But guess what?

In many places in this country, people with AIDS are treated as criminals if they don't disclose their status to partners, even if the transmission risk is next to nil.

Poz magazine founder Sean Strub -- who's doing a documentary on the subject (trailer above) -- tells me that a guy named Nick Rhoades got 25 years in jail for nondisclosure!

And he had an undetectable viral load and he used a condom!

And there are so many other instances like this that it's clear PWAs are being equated with serial killers.

I'm all for personal responsibility, but that should involve both partners.

I.e., they both need to take the necessary precautions regardless of their presumed status.

If either one is silent or evasive on the subject -- or even if they exult, "I'm negative" -- you still take the necessary precautions.

Don't buy a ticket for a horror film and then complain to the cops that your heart jumped from the fright.

(And I'm willing to admit that way more education is needed to alert those at risk to these essentials.)

An extra sad twist from all this is that in certain states, people are obviously better off never getting tested because they won't know anything and therefore can't withhold any information!

Not getting tested can spare you the rest of your life in jail!

I thought we'd come a long way from the 1980s civil suit by Rock Hudson's lover -- who didn't get HIV from Rock, but who still collected big time for the trauma and the distress -- but in fact things have gotten way, way worse.



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Drew
Drew

This is not simply in the United States, here in Australia many state governments are also going down the path of criminalisation.

What criminalisation does, is it creates further stigma, meaning less testing, meaning more infectious individuals in the community with an out of control Viral Load

Very interesting article Michael. And "my hat goes off " to Sean Strub and Poz Magazine.

Cheers Sydney, Australia

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RoseMarry123

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Ralph
Ralph

It’s the old adage: What did they know and when did they know it? Acknowledging that a trailer won’t provide all the details, my skepticism jumped at a very high level when listening to "Nick Rhoades" and his story. The detailing he provides in the clips appears suspiciously too convenient and loaded with Inquisitional horror. There’s no way for us to know just how true it all is, and in this age of agendized propaganda, we need a healthy dose of dubiety until what’s alleged is proven. Kept thinking: in what state has "Nick" trapped himself? One of the reasons that nondisclosure needs to remain a crime is that there is no difference between the HIV positive and his/her level of what’s undetectable because there are no safe percentages for the potential uninformed victim. OTOH, sex partners of high risk groups share a considerable blame for not assuming that there’s life-threatening danger in those yummy emissions. Gay activists taking up the charge to change the definitions of nondisclosure might get more than they asked for; they might see victims punished, too. Never underestimate the hate of a red state.

L. Kramer
L. Kramer

"High risk groups"? Really? How...1982

Mexcat
Mexcat

I have mix feelings about this issues, since I got HIV from someone that failed to disclose their status and during anal sex the condom broke-less then two weeks later, I had a "very severe flu."  I agree that both parties should be responsible and that both parties should assume that the other is positive; however, I feel that that we all should disclose our status and ALL THE TIME and let the other person make a decision based on our disclosure; doing anything different is and should be considered a crime-even if the risk is minuscule.  I know many HIV positive friends that say that their sexual partners are making a decision by assuming they are HIV negative and therefore willing making a decision - i don't agree, I think this is putting owns responsibility on someone else .... it is easy this way to not be rejected, etc.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Thank you for saying this Michael...I've been HIV+ (detectable/non-detectable) since the '80's...and the "safest" sex is acting like EVERYONE is positive...no matter what they say, no matter how [fill in the blank] you are...remember "I am my own best friend".

Narwhal
Narwhal

Does an undetectable load mean you can't transmit?

Malex179
Malex179

The risk when it's undectable is far lower even when unprotected. I read an article yesterday that said there is only a 4% chance of transmition if the viral load is undetectable. Not sure if that is the correct percentage. The laws need to be changed though, In the 80s your passing on a deadly disease. Now It is chronic. I'm lucky enough to still be neg, but am so sick of the ignorance surronding HIV and AIDS. We don't make diabetics feel like leppers.

Ouzo
Ouzo

Well, that's because diabetes isn't infectious. People with infectious illnesses are demonized by our horrible society.

Tessie
Tessie

You have definitely given me food for thought.

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