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Is it illegal to lie about being HIV positive?
Feb 8, 2012

My boyfriend of 9 months just informed me that he has been HIV positive for 6 years and his CD4 count just dropped low enough to start taking retroviral medications. He is also a surgeon. I asked him numerous times if he had any diseases and he told me no. Is it illegal to lie about being HIV positive?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Various states have different laws pertaining to the legality about disclosure of status. Disclosure is certainly the proper thing to do in moral terms, but sadly, many individuals either chose not to disclose or avoid getting tested. Always assume your sex partners are positive and take appropriate steps.

You should check with your local authorities or health department regarding specific laws in your area. The criminalization of HIV is a major concern. There is obviously a need to protect people but in many cases the law has been heavy handed with HIV positive individuals. You can read more about those issues here. I will also include a href="http://www.nccc.ucsf.edu/consultation_library/state_hiv_testing_laws" target=_new>link to a compendium of state testing law.

Take care,

David



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