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cunta_stalwart
Grand Master

Reged: 06/27/08
Posts: 175
OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240241 - 06/27/08 10:23 AM

This must be one of the biggest things that effect HIV+ people when trying to live in society, it is the single thing that can cause almost total isolation depending on how you approach it. I am interested in what other people think.

There was a recent artical published stateing that if your VL was UD that you where not able to infect others, even so if you practice very safe sex should you disclose to a partner. I'm going to say no more right now because I just have mixed feelings about this and really don't know what to think. So over to you guys - what do you think ?

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240267 - 06/28/08 07:01 AM

An undetectable viral load will greatly reduce the risk of transmission, but it does not bring it down to zero. Remember the levels of virus found in body fluids varies depending on the type of fluid.

Besides all the legal issues of not disclosing before sex, there is the moral issue.

Anyone having sex and knowingly NOT disclosing needs to ask themselves a couple very important question. What gives them the right to rob another human being of the ability to make up their own mind about their own body and welfare? Does anyone have the right to decide to put another person at risk, no matter how small the chance of transmission?

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240282 - 06/28/08 02:06 PM

Ok.
This Swiss study has been going around like a little wildfire...and it is not conclusive in my opinion. Further...the individuals were heterosexual. The study was totally about vaginal intercourse.
There has been NO study done on HIV undetectable Homosexual couples involved in anal intercourse. At least to my knowledge.
AND the issue of other sexually transmitted diseases is not even mentioned.
Please dont use this article from Switzerland as an excuse for unprotected sex. Using a condom is still accepted protocol if you are HIV positive....or you are having sex with someone of unknown status.

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pozartistsd
Expert

Reged: 01/04/08
Posts: 105
Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240297 - 06/28/08 05:47 PM

plus it's a 2way street in terms of safe sex... the hiv+ partner must protect themselves from std's. i realize your comment was on disclosing not safe sex practices.

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Florida69
Legend

Reged: 02/19/07
Posts: 541
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240312 - 06/28/08 11:50 PM

I agree that safe sex is a two way street. Condoms along with a undetectable viral load greatly reduces the chances to pass the virus along, meaning safe sex is just that. It is important to use protection during intercourse. I also concur that it is a moral responsibility. I would like to add that in some states like Florida. If a person has sex with someone else and does not disclose they can be brought up and prosecuted on criminal charges. Florida and other states think that this will help transmission rates lower.

D




This topic is very interesting, especially since I just happen to have read these articles.

This an old one:

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fshivaid.htm

These are more current.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/healthyliving/family/stories/062708dnlivaids_.3f2eafd.html

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=52995

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cunta_stalwart
Grand Master

Reged: 06/27/08
Posts: 175
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240316 - 06/29/08 12:12 PM

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with anything that has been said here, one thing I would mention is that this is a world forum not a USA forum so florida has no significance at all. There have been several test cases in court rooms round the world and unless the HIV+ person did something that put the other party at obvious risk then there was ground for criminal prosacution, everything we do in life is a risk to ourselves and others to some degree, a team of scientist in europe have recently released a paper stating that if an HIV+ person has a VL of UD for a prolonged period he/she cannot transmit the virus through sex - read here

http://www.positivenation.co.uk/regulars/column/137/russell.php

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240317 - 06/29/08 12:27 PM

I dont get it....Cunta, you start a discussion about disclosure and then introduce information about HIV positive undetectable individuals not being infectious. What are you trying to say here?
If you are saying that you dont need to disclose your HIV status if you are HIV positive and undectable, then you are wrong in my opinion.


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Brandy
Guru

Reged: 01/19/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Oklahoma,USA
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure"
      #240318 - 06/29/08 01:19 PM

hello I havent been on in a long time but thats another story in regards to the question about disclosure, YES you should always disclose to any possible partner its your responsiblity to STOP the spread of this disease, I know its not easy I stressed out on telling someone I was falling for, to make a long story short I wouldnt go out on a date with him until we talked I keep putting him off then finally I told him I said to him that I understood if he didnt want to see me again and I would give him time to think about it... a few hours later he called and asked when we were going out we have now been together for 2 yrs in sept Im not saying that all disclosures will end in a happy way but you must take responsibity to protect your self and your partner THE REASON THIS DISEASE IS SPREADING SO FAST STILL is because people are not taking a responsible path when it comes to sex.

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take care and be sooooo safe love,
Brandy

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Florida69
Legend

Reged: 02/19/07
Posts: 541
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240333 - 06/30/08 10:49 AM

Quote:

one thing I would mention is that this is a world forum not a USA forum so florida has no significance at all.






Then do what you must, and the chips will fall where they will. I was just adding to your discussion and sharing with you the laws of some of the USA states, your country is also not the only country that that posts in this forum. When you pull your head out of the sand and realize that the USA and Florida are part of the World you might be better off.

Joel, it sounds to me like this Cunta person is wanting some type of permission to go around sleeping with people and not disclosing their status. However they will find that there are a lot of countries with similar laws like the USA if not more strict.

Some people have even received death sentences.

For the vast majority of people living with HIV, preventing others from becoming infected with the virus that they carry is a primary concern. HIV positive individuals are, after all, only too aware of just how difficult it can be to live with the illness, and few would wish it on anybody else.

This said, not all HIV+ people take the precautions that they perhaps should. Scare stories of people 'deliberately' or 'recklessly' transmitting HIV to others have appeared in the media since the epidemic first began, and some of the individuals concerned have even been criminally charged and imprisoned for their actions. But while it might seem obvious and morally right to prosecute someone for carelessly or purposely infecting another with an ultimately fatal virus, this assumption, and its consequences, can present numerous problems. So what are the issues that must be addressed when prosecuting someone for transmitting HIV? Is it right to try and criminalise HIV+ people in this way? And what can past cases teach us?

Deliberate, Reckless or Accidental?
Before looking at the complexities of prosecuting people for infecting others with HIV, it is first necessary to understand the different types of transmission that can take place. The definitions below are based on general categories and are not specific to any particular country or legal system.

Deliberate (or 'Intentional')
Most countries would consider this to be the most serious offence that can be committed. Some cases of deliberate transmission have involved individuals (both HIV+ and HIV-) who have used needles or other implements to intentionally infect others with HIV. Others have been based on HIV+ people who have had sex with the primary purpose of transmitting the virus to their partner.

Deliberate transmission also sometimes takes place when a negative partner has an active desire to become infected with HIV (a practice sometimes referred to as 'sexual thrill seeking' or 'bug chasing'). This is unlikely to lead to prosecution however as both parties consent.

Reckless
This is where HIV is passed on through a careless rather than deliberate act. If for example a person who knows they have HIV has unprotected sex with a negative person, but fails to inform them of the risk involved, this could be classed as reckless transmission in court. "Reckless" here implies that transmission did take place, but that this happened as part of the pursuit of sexual gratification rather than because the HIV+ person actually wanted to give their partner HIV (HIV is of course not 'automatically' transmitted every time someone has unprotected sex.)

Accidental
This is the most common way that HIV is passed on. A person is generally said to have accidentally transmitted HIV if:

They were unaware that they had the virus, and therefore did not feel the need to take measures to protect their partner.
They were aware of their HIV+ status and they used a condom during sex, but the condom failed in some way (although there is some debate over whether this should in fact be classed as a reckless act, as we shall see later).
The complexities of prosecution
Unfortunately deciding if someone has deliberately, recklessly or accidentally transmitted HIV is not as simple as the explanations above may suggest. The divisions between each of the three categories can be very blurred, and depend largely on individual interpretation. Even after a decision has been made, a court may still have a hard time deciding whether to find someone guilty or not. Some of the most problematic issues include:

Proof
It might appear that proof is a straightforward issue, but proving that someone has passed on HIV can be exceedingly difficult.

Firstly it needs to be proven that the accused (let's call them A) was definitely the source of the accuser's (B) HIV. This is normally done by comparing the DNA of the virus that A and B are infected with (using a process called phylogenetics - see the Richard D. Schmidt case study below). If they are the same (or very similar), then it is very likely that A caused B's infection. If they are different then it means B almost certainly did not acquire HIV from A, and the case would be probably be thrown out.

Secondly, if the DNA matches, it needs to be proven that A definitely caused B’s infection and not the other way round. Sometimes this can be demonstrated by how advanced each person's illness is, but this isn't always possible. Often, the only definitive proof would be a negative test on B that was performed after A received a positive test.

Finally, in cases where intentional or deliberate transmission needs to be proven, evidence needs to be found that A actively intended and wanted to infect B. Unless there is physical proof of this (e.g. a syringe filled with HIV+ material, a note, or a written confession), it can often just be one person's word against another. With cases of sexual transmission, proving intention can be virtually impossible as the very nature of sexual HIV transmission means there are no witnesses: what happens in the bedroom is essentially private. If no evidence of deliberate transmission could be found therefore, a charge of reckless or careless transmission would probably be chosen. Whether someone can be legally charged with reckless (as opposed to deliberate) transmission depends entirely on an individual country's laws and courts. In some places there is no differentiation between the two.


Consent and Disclosure
Almost all criminal convictions involving sexual transmission are brought about because an HIV+ person has failed to inform their negative partner about their status. In some cases, the positive person may have actively lied in response to a direct question in order to persuade their partner to have unprotected sex. In others, they may simply not have mentioned their condition. A prosecution involving deception might carry a more severe penalty than a simple failure to disclose, because it affects a person's choice to consent to sex. But again, this depends on local laws.

Consent is an important issue in all criminal prosecutions. If the accused had simply not mentioned they are HIV+, then the prosecution would probably argue that they had been reckless by not disclosing their status and not informing their partner of the risks involved in intercourse. However, the defence could well counter this by saying that the balance of responsibility is 50:50, and that by agreeing to having unprotected sex, the ‘victim’ effectively consented to all the risks involved, including that of HIV. This argument was used in the appeal trial of Mohammed Dica, the first person in England to be accused of recklessly transmitting HIV (see below).

If the accused had actively deceived their partner, and told them they were negative when they were not, then the prosecution could quite easily argue that the 50:50 balance of responsibility had been taken away, making the accused more liable to prosecution.

The argument that non-disclosure equals guilt could potentially even be applied if the person on trial had used a condom. Some say that sex with a condom, but without disclosure of status should also count as reckless transmission. This is because condoms are not always 100% effective. If a condom fails therefore, and an individual becomes infected with HIV, there is potential for that person to accuse their partner of being 'reckless' for having withheld information that may have influenced their decision to have sex.

Assumed Status and Trust
Disclosing one's HIV status to an intimate partner can be extremely difficult. Many people have difficulty coming to terms with having HIV and remain in denial of their condition. The fear of rejection and stigma can also prevent people from being honest, particularly if they are worried about friends, colleagues or members of their family finding out. Likewise, asking about someone else's status can be hard because of the risk of offending them, or 'spoiling the moment'. In such circumstances, many people choose to make assumptions instead.

Ironically, this is particularly true in high-prevalence areas or among high-risk groups where virtually everyone has heard of HIV. A positive person who engages in casual sex with a negative person may, for example, assume that by failing to suggest the use of a condom or failing to ask about status, the negative partner is either already positive themselves or does not care about the risks of HIV. Likewise, a negative person may assume that by not using a condom and not talking about status, their partner must be negative too:

“If she was HIV+, she'd ask me to use a condom...” or “He's not using a condom, so he must be HIV+, like me”
There is also the issue of trust. Most would agree that a relationship can only work if both partners have faith in each other to be honest and truthful. But when one partner consistently lies or deceives the other, where does the blame lie? With the person who has been deceptive, or with the person who has been naive enough to trust them?

Police Investigations
There have been cases in the UK (such as the Sarah Jane Porter case below) and abroad, where police have assumed that because HIV transmission can now be a criminal offence, it is acceptable to fully investigate any HIV+ person about whom they receive a complaint. In some cases, this will involve actively raiding the accused’s home for evidence of HIV+ status or demanding medical records from HIV clinics. Police have also been known to track down past partners to inform them of their risk, or even to persuade them to testify against the accused individual.

How such activities fit in to national laws about privacy and confidentiality needs to be assessed very carefully, and HIV positive people need to be aware of their rights if ever they undergo such an investigation. It also needs to be made very clear who (the police or public health officers) should trace and contact previous partners, how this should be done to ensure proper counselling and help is provided. Questions about whether anyone has the right to trace and contact previous partners if the person concerned does not give consent for this to happen also need to be addressed.

Criminal Conviction: Right or Wrong?
Given the ambiguities and difficulties outlined above, it is apparent that any form of legislation on the issue needs to be clear about what forms of transmission are and are not covered. There are generally three broad schools of thought on how this should work:

No criminalisation at all
A few people argue that criminal charges should never be brought for transmitting HIV, no matter what the circumstances. HIV is a virus that acts under its own rules of nature, they say, and therefore the laws of man should not apply. Banning any prosecution for HIV transmission would therefore make the whole issue a lot simpler. However, in cases of deliberate transmission, where someone has actively infected another with the virus, this rule could pose a serious threat to public health by leaving a clearly dangerous individual immune to prosecution.

Criminalisation for deliberate transmission only
Generally this is the sort of policy that most AIDS organisations, public health officials and civil rights groups favour1,2,3. They argue that by restricting the law to cases of intentional rather than reckless transmission, it would greatly reduce the confusion amongst HIV+ people over what is legal and what is not. It would also cut down on the number of HIV+ people being criminalised unfairly, while allowing those who truly deserve prosecution to be brought to trial. In cases of reckless or accidental transmission, most agree that education and counselling is a more effective option than imprisonment or fines.

Criminalisation for all forms of transmission
As the list of trials at the end of this page demonstrates, many states and countries now allow the prosecution of HIV positive people for all forms of transmission, including reckless and accidental. Some have specific laws permitting this, others use more general criminal laws to obtain a conviction. As with any other type of criminal trial, once one prosecution is successfully achieved, it sets a precedent for future trials, and makes lawyers more likely to take on similar cases. This growing trend is of particular concern for many organisations trying to advocate on behalf of HIV+ people around the world. Below is a short summary of some of their arguments for the criminalisation of HIV transmission, and the counter arguments of those in against such legislation:

FOR AGAINST
If you are HIV+, failing to use protection is wrong, and people who do wrong should be brought to justice through the law regardless of their health status or background. Criminalising HIV+ people does not address the complexities involved in disclosure and increases stigma, particularly when positive people being brought to trial are demonised by the press.
Giving someone HIV is akin to murder. HIV is an unpleasant virus to live with, but it is no longer a death sentence, and with modern drugs, HIV+ people can live a healthy life for many years.
If you are HIV+, it is your duty to use protection. The idea of "shared responsibility" is based on ideals that came about when HIV was still a 'gay' illness. With heterosexual relationships, it is not always a practical reality. Many women, even in the West, have little say over what happens in the bedroom and do not necessarily have the power to force their partners to wear a condom. The more cases that come to court, the more people will believe that the responsibility for having safe sex should lie solely with positive people. This could in turn lead to more incidents of unprotected intercourse, with people believing it to be a legal responsibility for their partner to disclose any infection. Safe sex should always be a shared concern.
Criminalising people for reckless transmission will act as a deterrent and will make HIV+ people think twice before having unprotected sex. The law should have no place in the bedroom, and indeed has little effect on people's sexual behaviour, as is clear from the number of teens who have illegal underage sex. Criminalisation of transmission does however enable lovers to use the law as a way of exacting revenge. In such cases, the original HIV+ partner would always be at a natural disadvantage.
To ensure that people don't believe they are immune from prosecution just because they haven't taken an HIV test, it should be possible to call an HIV+ person 'reckless' even if they have never actually had an HIV test - knowledge that they have put themselves at risk in the past should be enough to make them aware of their HIV risk and thus legally obliged to use a condom in the future. Prosecuting positive people for reckless transmission could well leave many afraid to be tested, believing that if they do find out their status, they could be liable to all sorts of criminal charges. Avoiding this problem by telling people they should be 'aware' of their risk even if they haven't tested for HIV is entirely unfair. It is also impossible to assess or judge how 'aware' of past risk of infection any one person is or should have been.
Putting people in prison will stop them from spreading HIV and endangering the community In the short term, this may be true, but imprisonment does nothing to help people come to terms with their HIV and take a safer attitude towards sex. Education and psychological counselling would be a more appropriate course of action in many cases. The sharing of needles for injecting drugs and the high incidence of male rape and sex between men in prisons also mean that HIV transmission is still perfectly possible, even behind bars.
Criminal cases help to uncover and warn lots of HIV+ people who might not otherwise learn their status. Criminal cases give police licence to investigate the background of anyone they suspect of having passed on HIV. This can represent a serious invasion of privacy as well as a potential breach of confidentiality and anonymity, and it may well be entirely unjustified.
Laws on the transmission of diseases do not necessarily apply just to HIV. Many laws relating to HIV could potentially be used to prevent people spreading many other fatal illnesses. No other illnesses are treated with the same hysteria as HIV, and few people are ever criminalised for transmitting them. It is for example very unlikely that anyone would think prosecute an employee of a residential care home for coming into work with the flu and giving it to the residents, even if several of those residents subsequently died. HIV is only singled out in criminal cases because of its association with stigmatised groups and promiscuity.
HIV+ people can easily be divided into legal definitions of "guilty" (people who 'bring HIV upon themselves' and recklessly give it to others) and "innocent" (victims who were infected through no fault of their own, and would never put anyone else at risk) These categorisations are far from clear cut, and most HIV+ people have at some point in their lives belonged to both. After all, everyone who transmits HIV was once a 'victim' of someone else with the virus.

How does criminalisation affect the lives of HIV+ people?
While most HIV+ people practice very safe sex, and would never have cause to be taken to court, many say that the issue of criminalisation still affects them. A recent survey by researchers from the Sigma research team at Portsmouth University for example4, found that 90% of the HIV+ people they interviewed were critical of the growing trend for criminalisation of reckless HIV transmission. Most said this was because they believed that the responsibility for protected sex should be shared, or because they thought criminalisation increased the stigma they faced. A number also said they believed that criminalisation was a step back towards the culture of ‘blame’ that surrounded the early years of the epidemic.

Right or wrong however, criminalisation does mean that there is now an extra concern for any HIV+ person who decides to have a sexual relationship, and many HIV organisations are finding that they have to take the issue into consideration when giving out advice. In its booklet "Should I tell?"5, about HIV disclosure for example, the UK charity THT decided to change a number of pages to reflect the fact that emotional and sexual concerns are no longer the only issue that needs to be addressed in the bedroom - legal issues have to be taken into consideration too.

What trials for Criminal Transmission have there been?
Criminal transmission trials have been held in many countries around the world, but most have occurred in the West. Below are some of the better-known trials to have taken place in recent years:

Pavlos Georgiou, March 19976: One of the first ever trials held for deliberate transmission, Georgiou was a Cypriot fisherman who infected his British lover, Janette Pink, during a holiday romance. After several years of trying, Ms Pink eventually managed to persuade the Cypriot courts to bring him to trial in 1997, and he was subsequently sentenced to 15 months in prison. The case coincided with a UK government announcement that the 1861 Offences against the Person Act was to be revised to specify that the deliberate (but not reckless) transmission of illnesses could be made a criminal offence punishable by anything up to a life sentence. The revisions were however never passed by parliament, and the act remained unchanged, allowing the first ever case of reckless transmission to be brought to court in 2003 (see 'Mohammed Dica' below).

Dr Richard J. Schmidt, 19987,8: Richard Schmidt was a doctor from Louisiana, USA, who was accused of infecting his lover, a nurse called Janice Trahan, by injecting her with HIV+ blood. Trahan alleged that Schmidt had injected her with the blood of one of his positive patients in an act of vengeance after she tried to end their relationship. DNA samples of the virus in Trahan's blood and that of the positive patient in question were found to be very similar, but Schmidt's defence team insisted that 'very similar' was not scientifically accurate enough. HIV rapidly mutates and changes its DNA structure once it enters another person's body meaning comparisons can be difficult. However, using a new technique called ' phylogenetics' (or 'evolutionary analysis'), scientists were able to determine that Schmidt's patient was extremely likely to have been the source of the virus found in Trahan. Schmidt was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years.

This was the first time that phylogenetics had been used in a criminal transmission trial, but it is now the standard way of determining the source of HIV infection in trials. Incidentally, phylogenetics was also used in the early 90s to determine the cause of infection of five patients treated by the HIV+ Florida dentist, Dr. David Acer. Acer died before any criminal charges were brought, but following testing, he was found to be the source of all five infections.

Brian Stewart, December 19989: Stewart was a medical technician from Illinois who was sentenced to life in prison after deliberately injecting his son with HIV tainted blood, allegedly in an effort to kill him and avoid paying child support. He was found guilty after all other suggested sources for the boy's infection were ruled out. On one occasion Stewart allegedly told the boy's mother not to bother seeking child support because the child would not live beyond the age of five. On another, he told colleagues that he had "the power to destroy the world… I would inject them with something and they would never know what hit them."

Christophe Morat, June 200410: Morat was sentenced to six years in a French prison under legislation designed to be used in cases of poisoning (France has no specific anti-HIV transmission laws). He was found guilty of failing to disclose his status to two women, Isabelle and Aurore, both of whom subsequently became HIV+. Aurore later committed suicide and Morat's appeal against his sentence was subsequently rejected. Isabelle is now a member of a major HIV action group known as Femmes Positives, whose mission is to get the French government to create a specific HIV transmission-related law that will give them the right to prosecute former lovers. The case, and the demands of Femmes Positives, has opened up a debate in France over whether HIV+ people should ever be divided into 'victims' and 'criminals' in the eyes of the law, or whether the conventional doctrine of 'shared responsibility' in contraception should remain.

Hans-Otto Schiemann, November 200411: A one-legged, 56-year-old German who lived in Thailand, Schiemann allegedly tried to infect nearly 100 Thai women (including his wife) during the 10 years he lived in the country. As Thailand deliberately has no laws that outlaw unprotected sex or its consequences, he was eventually sentenced to two months in jail for overstaying his visa, and was deported back to Germany. Schiemann was reported to have a pathological hatred of Thai women, and referred to them as 'witches' and 'monkeys', but claimed he had done nothing wrong. He was deported for a second time in November 2005 after he was found to have re-entered the country.

Anthony E. Whitfield, December 200412: An African-American from Lacey in the USA, Whitfield was sentenced to an unprecedented 178 years in prison by a court in the state of Washington after exposing 17 women to HIV and infecting his wife and four others. He was found guilty on 17 counts of first-degree assault with sexual motivation, two counts of witness tampering and three counts of violating a court protection order. His conviction spawned a racist leafleting campaign in the state capital, Olympia, with flyers proclaiming "Don't Have Sex With Blacks; Avoid AIDS" delivered to more than 100 homes. Whitfield is one of around 150 people to have been convicted of criminal HIV transmission in the US.

Mohammed Dica, March 200513: Kenyan-born with family in Somalia, Dica lived in Mitcham, SW London. In the first ever HIV transmission conviction in England and Wales, he was found guilty of reckless (rather than deliberate) Grievous Bodily Harm against two women and was sentenced to 8 years in prison in November 2003. However, in March 2004 he appealed, claiming that he had not been allowed to give evidence that suggested the women had fully consented to the risks of unprotected sex with him. A retrial was ordered and began in June 2004, but was later halted due to questions over the validity of documents submitted by one of the complainants. This woman subsequently withdrew her complaint and dropped out of the trial. In December 2004, a third hearing was held, this time with only one complainant, but the jury failed to reach a verdict. A fourth and final hearing in March 2005 however found him guilty on one count of GBH and he was jailed for four and a half years.

The trial caused concern among many AIDS and human rights organisations in Britain, as UK Law Commission guidelines recommend that only cases of deliberate transmission ever be brought to trial. However, the prosecution believed it had a case, as Dica was alleged to have actively persuaded one of the women not to use condoms, even though he knew he was HIV+. He also led the other to believe he was HIV negative and a rich single lawyer, when in fact he was HIV positive, unemployed and married with children.

Other trials in the UK include:

Stephen Kelly: Tried in Scotland in 2001, he was first ever person to be convicted in the UK. He was jailed for 5 years.
Feston Konzani: an asylum seeker from Malawi, jailed for 10 years.
Kouassi Adaye: an asylum seeker from South Africa, jailed for 4 years.
Christopher Walker: pleaded not guilty and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Paulo Matias from Leicester: jailed for 3 years.
An unnamed woman from Cardiff: jailed for 2 years.
Derek Hornett: sentenced to three years for transmitted HIV to an 82-year old women.
Unnamed man from Bournemouth: Zimbabwean man sentenced to 3 1/2 years
Mark James from West Sussex: Gay man sentenced to 40 months in prison in his absence after he went missing while on bail. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Sarah Jane Porter (see below) from London: jailed for 32 months.
Unnamed gay man from London: not convicted – the trial ended in an unprecedented ‘not guilty’ verdict after the defence claimed that phylogenetic analysis could not prove that the defendant had definitely infected the complainant.
Clive Rowlands from Merseyside: jailed for two and a half years in November 2006.
Giovanni Mola: Convicted of reckless injury in Scotland in November 2006. Currently awaiting sentencing.
Unidentified woman, May 200514: A mother from Hamilton in Canada was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm after refusing pre and post-natal care and ignoring advice that would have prevented her baby from acquiring HIV. Following the birth of a healthy baby in 2003, the woman became pregnant again in 2004 and then changed her health care provider. However she neglected to tell her new doctors of her positive status, meaning her baby did not receive essential medication after birth. Despite having not breast fed her first baby under her doctor's advice, she did breastfeed the second, leading to the baby testing positive in early 2005. This is currently the only known case of someone being prosecuted for vertical transmission.

Justin Dalley, June 200515,16: Dalley, a New Zealander, was convicted of criminal nuisance after having unprotected sex with his girlfriend and failing to disclose his status. Unusually, his girlfriend remains HIV negative, but initially told Dalley's family she was positive. She later admitted she had lied, but charges were still brought due to the alleged mental stress and trauma she had suffered on discovering her boyfriend's status. Dalley was sentenced to 300 hours' community work, six months supervision and $1000 reparation to cover his girlfriend's counselling and other expenses.

The case is also unusual because of a second woman, who on hearing of the trial, tried to prosecute Dalley for having sex with her with a condom but without disclosure. She too remains HIV-. Dalley was however found not guilty of this charge in October 2005, because he had used a condom.

Canadian Red Cross Society, June 200517: In the first case of an entire organisation being prosecuted for HIV transmission, the Canadian Red Cross was taken to court after more than 1,000 Canadian citizens acquired HIV from infected blood products in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Red Cross had run the country's national blood donor scheme for decades before the scandal, but failed to properly implement HIV and hepatitis screening for a number of years after tests for the diseases became available. Originally accused of "distributing an adulterated drug", official charges were dropped after the organisation admitted they were guilty, issued a full apology and agreed to compensate the victims. As well as a $5,000 fine, they was asked to donate $1.5 million of money not sourced from public donations to fund scholarships for the children affected by the tragedy and to finance research into medical errors.

A second trial against three Canadian health officials working for the Red Cross, a U.S. pharmaceutical company and one of its senior U.S. executives, is however still ongoing.

Bulgarian medics on trial in Libya; February 1999 - July 200718 19: The Bulgarian medics trial began in 1999 after a number of children treated at the al-Fateh paediatric hospital in Benghazi, Libya were discovered to have AIDS. Hospital officials and parents accused a group of medics, which included six Bulgarians (five women nurses and a male doctor), a Palestinian doctor and nine Libyans, of having collaborated to deliberately infect the children. However, the foreign health workers' defence lawyer insisted that the infections were caused by poor hygiene and the multiple use of contaminated syringes within the hospital, and that they began long before the medics arrived.

The case was initially dismissed by the Libyan People's Court, but was then passed to an ordinary criminal court. At the second hearing in 2003, Prof. Luc Montagnier, the co-discover of HIV, was called in to give an impartial expert opinion. He suggested that the tragedy had probably taken place due to negligence rather than deliberate intent, and that the children had been infected at least a year before the medics arrived. Despite his report, the five Bulgarian nurses and Palistinian doctor were found guilty and sentenced to death in May 2004. The Libyans and Bulgarian doctor were freed.

After appealing against the conviction on the grounds that false confessions had been extracted from two of the nurses by torture, the case was reopened, and the death sentences were quashed in late 2005 by the Supreme court. A retrial in December 2006 again sentenced the seven to death however. The medics once again appealed, but given a third death sentence on 11 July 2007. This was commuted to life imprisonment on 18 July. After many months of negotiations with the European Union (of which Bulgaria became a part in January 2007) the medics were finally released on 24 July 2007.

The trial caused a major international incident, with many nations saying it was an attempt to divert attention away from the poor conditions in Libya's state-run hospitals. The families of the infected children however refused to drop the case until they had been paid sufficient 'blood money' - compensation that would allow the death sentence to be commuted under Islamic law. Both the EU and Bulgaria refused to pay this, arguing it would imply that the medics were guilty. However, they did set up a fund designed to support the infected children, and donated money to the hospital concerned to improve the facilities and conditions there. Eventually, after much international pressure and a number of deals with the EU, the demands for blood money were met by the Libya itself, and the medics were released to serve the remainder of their life sentences in Bulgaria. All five nurses and the Palestinian doctor, who was given Bulgarian citizenship shortly before his release, were acquitted as soon as they returned to Bulgaria.

Sarah Jane Porter; June 200620: Sarah Jane Porter was a woman from London in the UK who was charged with Grievous Bodily Harm through the reckless transmission of HIV. Her case is a good example of some of the reasons why many AIDS organisations are against the criminalisation of reckless HIV transmission.

Firstly, her accuser, a former boyfriend, was not the man who made the original complaint to the police - he remains HIV negative – but someone the police tracked down in the course of their investigations, and persuaded to file charges. These investigations lasted over a year, and involved Sarah’s home being raided and her medical records being seized. Some have accused the Metropolitan Police Force of wasting police time in trying to secure a conviction, and Sarah’s legal team have made an official complaint about the conduct of police officers in the case.

The psychologist in the case told the court that Sarah was in complete denial about her HIV infection because she was convinced that she would be rejected by her friends and lovers if she disclosed her status. She was terrified of the stigma attached to HIV. However, on being found guilty, she was not offered counselling, but was imprisoned for 32 months, separating her from her young son.

She also faced deep hostility from much of the tabloid press, who labelled her “pure evil” and an “AIDS avenger”, so perpetuating the stigma and idea of ‘blame’ that caused Miss Porter not to disclose her status in the first place.

Finally, no mention was made of the fact that her lovers also failed to use condoms when having sex with Miss Porter – which it was of course their equal responsibility to do.

Conclusions
The criminalisation of people who have transmitted HIV is both a moral and a practical minefield. The very fact that the sentences received by the individuals listed above vary from a small fine to life in prison reflects just how difficult it can be to legislate and deliver a ruling on an issue where individual viewpoints, emotions, stigma and the good of public health are so inextricably mixed. No matter what legal system is in use, there is no easy "one size fits all" law that can make it any simpler either. Make the prosecution of people who have passed on HIV illegal altogether (as they have done in places such as Thailand) and you risk a public outcry by allowing people to get away with serious cases of deliberate and malicious transmission. Introduce specific laws, and you risk a cascade of litigation brought about by angry lovers, and thus an increase the number of people afraid to be tested. If any progress is to be made on the issue therefore, a very careful international examination of the benefits and pitfalls of criminalisation needs to take place.

What should ultimately be remembered however is that HIV is an infectious disease - every single person who is accused of sexually transmitting the virus by whatever means, will at some point have been the victim of a 'transmitter' themselves. People do not ask to become infected with HIV; they acquire it because replication and infection is the primary objective of any virus. The real criminal is perhaps not the human host therefore, but HIV itself.

So I guess we are not only in USA. D

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Samurai
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Reged: 06/25/08
Posts: 68
Loc: Texas, USA
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240354 - 06/30/08 05:41 PM

I totally agree with this post and the facts.

--------------------
I am forever amazed at the abundance of hydrogen and ignorance in the universe.
~Albert Einstein

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Samurai
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Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240356 - 06/30/08 05:43 PM

I believe that was the Swiss study on only Heterosexual sex, and is far from conclusive for anyone.

--------------------
I am forever amazed at the abundance of hydrogen and ignorance in the universe.
~Albert Einstein

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cunta_stalwart
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Reged: 06/27/08
Posts: 175
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240360 - 06/30/08 07:47 PM

I am trying to say nothing at the moment, this is a "dicussion forum" and I am try to engage a discussion on the subject origially posted, I am new to HIV "a Newbie" there are may people here who have lived with HIV a long time and it is mostly on their knowledge and experience I am trying to engage. I don't see anything wrong with that, I myself knowing very little about it have yet to have any opinion on the matter although I am learning.

That long post of cases (although I didn't read every one of them) seem to mostly be of HIV+ people who knowingly put others at risk through unprotected sex or activity, not really what this discussion is about and not really something I want to read about either (blatent criminal activity)

Right now I am 80% in the disclosure camp, I think under certain circumstances non disclosure would be acceptable also depending on the actual level of contact.

I know it is a tricky subject for HIV+ people as it is a very socialy debilitating issue.

We talk about risk to others, we are a risk to everyone around us at varying levels, do they all have a right to know our status, at what point do you decide the risk is so great that you need to disclose, it could be in a social environment - job related - partner related - friends related, I read an artical about a son passing HIV to his mother, also a girl passing HIV to her sister, even though the experts will say that normal home environment is safe it still happens, what is I share a house with other people that don't know my status ? do I just need to take extra precaustions, the point here is where is the line ?

--------------------
How Many Roads Must A Man Walk Down Before He Admits Hes lost

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cunta_stalwart
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Reged: 06/27/08
Posts: 175
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240364 - 06/30/08 08:07 PM

Quote:

An undetectable viral load will greatly reduce the risk of transmission, but it does not bring it down to zero. Remember the levels of virus found in body fluids varies depending on the type of fluid.

Besides all the legal issues of not disclosing before sex, there is the moral issue.

Anyone having sex and knowingly NOT disclosing needs to ask themselves a couple very important question.







OK I'll add another point to this, doctors have been putting us at risk in various way for years as have government officials etc etc, one example of this is the fact that a standard xray can cause cancer further to that a CAT scan gives us a dose of some 400 times that of an xray, for me this is very serious, I would like to have been told before hand that an xray was putting me at risk and a cat scan ???? well don't even go there, non disclosure has been common place in our lives for a very long time.. Sometime it comes down to money, in the UK some National Health patients have been refused treatments based on money, they had to find out for themselves that treatment was available, non disclosure life threatening. we do not live in a perfect society,


Levels of acceptable risk in so many things in our lives



--------------------
How Many Roads Must A Man Walk Down Before He Admits Hes lost

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cunta_stalwart
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Posts: 175
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240366 - 06/30/08 08:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

one thing I would mention is that this is a world forum not a USA forum so florida has no significance at all.








Joel, it sounds to me like this Cunta person is wanting some type of permission to go around sleeping with people and not disclosing their status.




Now that is the most careless thing I have read on this forum. Sounds to me that you need to either join in the dicussion with useful points of view or don't bother, I take your words as insulting and contrary to anything I have posted here, I'm a grown up this is a disussion thread, you just made a public personal judgment on me, would you like one back ???? leave it out please .

If people don't think this subject is worth discussing then don't post on this thread, personally I find it very informative without the personal slander


I guess another way to look at this would be if being the HIV- person would I insist on knowing status - yes

I myself obviously was exposed to HIV through Hetrosexual contact even though I used condoms, if a partner was going to be around for some time and we choose to have unprotected intercourse then we where both tested at the same time, even with this level of safety I still got exposed from somewhere or someone.

--------------------
How Many Roads Must A Man Walk Down Before He Admits Hes lost

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Florida69
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Reged: 02/19/07
Posts: 541
Re: OK.......The big question "disclosure" new
      #240383 - 07/01/08 11:25 AM

Quote:

Now that is the most careless thing I have read on this forum. Sounds to me that you need to either join in the dicussion with useful points of view or don't bother, I take your words as insulting and contrary to anything I have posted here, I'm a grown up this is a disussion thread, you just made a public personal judgment on me, would you like one back ???? leave it out please .

If people don't think this subject is worth discussing then don't post on this thread, personally I find it very informative without the personal slander


I guess another way to look at this would be if being the HIV- person would I insist on knowing status - yes

I myself obviously was exposed to HIV through Hetrosexual contact even though I used condoms, if a partner was going to be around for some time and we choose to have unprotected intercourse then we where both tested at the same time, even with this level of safety I still got exposed from somewhere or someone.




I am sorry that you tested positive, maybe before starting a topic in which we have no idea who you are, you might want to introduce yourself and give us a little back ground.

First you are not the discussion police, and me attacking you is far from it. In this forum we have free speech. You began your egocentric view, we added to your discussion, then you attacked telling us that Florida and the USA are not part of the world. If you are indeed a grown up, then be a grown up and act with some civility.

I didn't attack you personally, I was trying to give you some information. You started on the offensive, and I defended myself and the information that I shared with you. First of all, I had no idea how you became infected, and secondly I don't care. How would I know you were infected through heterosexual sex? You are infected, and it is perfectly natural for you to have some anger and resentment. I joined in your discussion, because I thought your topic was interesting. I didn't slander you, in order for me to do that I would have to go out of my way to damage your reputation. You are new here, therefore you have no reputation to defend. I was pointing out my opinion on why you attacked the USA. I was not being careless, I was informing you on my stance, and giving you more information, so that perhaps you can make a better decision. I joined in with useful views, you choose to have your own frame of mind on where you wanted this discussion to go. Perhaps you should have pointed out that you did not want to know any of the ramifications of the legal aspects of disclosure. My point was that many countries have similar laws when dealing with disclosure. No one here is going to judge you, we are here to offer support, as we have all been where you are.

Since you think I am slandering you, and don't want me to post a rebuttle don't attack me.

I stand by my post. Take care, and good luck, D

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