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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Kai Chandler Lois Crenshaw Gary Paul Wright Fortunata Kasege Keith Green Lois Bates Greg Braxton Vanessa Austin Bernard Jackson

Press Release

Black AIDS Institute Condemns Murder of Cicely Bolden and Incendiary Media Reporting of This Tragedy

September 19, 2012

The Black AIDS Institute condemns the recent murder of Cicely Bolden, 28, a young HIV-positive mother of two living in Dallas by Larry Dunn, Jr., 36. We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family and loved ones.

While we are reluctant to draw any conclusions about this case, which currently is being investigated, we do believe strongly, first and foremost, that we need to respond quickly and forcibly to violence against women and that our society needs to strengthen both public opinion and public policy against domestic and intimate-partner violence. It's unacceptable to harm someone mentally, physically or emotionally -- much less kill them -- under any conditions at all.

Mr. Dunn claims to have murdered Ms. Bolden in a fit of rage after she disclosed her HIV status following a sexual encounter. "This reminds me of the old 'homosexual panic' defense, in which gay men could be brutalized or even murdered and it was a legitimate defense to say that the murderer should not be held culpable because the gay man made a sexual advance toward him that caused him to panic," said Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. "No matter what else this case might be. It is first and foremost a domestic violence homicide. This man killed a mother of two and left her body for her children to find. We should not lose sight of that."

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If early reporting of this case proves to be accurate, it also speaks to the need to increase efforts to confront HIV stigma, provide basic HIV/AIDS education, and create an environment where people living with HIV can live openly and honestly without fear of violence or other negative consequences.

The Black AIDS Institute condemns media organizations that have led with the incendiary alleged quote from the defendant: "She killed me, so I killed her". Leading with this statement gives credence to Mr. Dunn's actions. It also reveals the amount of work that needs to happen to educate the media as well as the American public about the state of AIDS in America today. In 2012 everyone should know that HIV is not an automatic death sentence.

In addition, there is so much we don't know. For example, we don't know if Ms. Bolden and Mr. Dunn used condoms. It's entirely possible that Bolden disclosed her HIV status in response to Mr. Dunn asking her why she insisted on using a condom. We don't know if Mr. Dunn is HIV positive or not. As of the time this news story was written, Mr. Dunn hadn't been HIV tested yet. Finally, by leading with Mr. Dunn's statement, the media absolves Mr. Dunn of any responsibility for his own protection.

What we know is Cicely Bolden is dead. Her children have lost their mother. Larry Dunn killed her because she was an HIV positive Black woman.

The Black AIDS Institute urges communities, advocates and policymakers to respect the life of Ms. Bolden by working aggressively to create an environment where we eliminate HIV-related stigma -- where people with HIV can live their lives openly, honestly, freely and with integrity in a culture and a society where that is the norm and not the exception.



This article was provided by Black AIDS Institute. Visit Black AIDS Institute's website to find out more about their activities and publications.

See Also
More on HIV/AIDS-Related Legal Cases


Reader Comments:

Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:13 am EST
Woman that 28 years old I'm sorry that HIV
I will be paryer for you may God bless
My Name is Donald I live in Oakland CA
I from Houston Texas.
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Comment by: AK (TX) Tue., Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:05 am EDT
She didn't deserve to die. He shouldn't have been cheating on his wife. There are two sides to every story and we won't ever hear her side. If he didn't get it from her he would have gotten it from another mistress. If it really happened the way he says he should have pressed charges on her, people have been sent to prison for knowingly infecting people and not telling them. It's never ok to murder anyone no matter how much they wronged you, it's a serious sin, he will be held accountable on judgement day.
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Comment by: black texas (dallas) Mon., Sep. 24, 2012 at 3:42 am EDT
Who ever wrote this article is ignorant. This women played with this man's life. She showed no compassion or concern for this man. Some Blacks are evil and that's why we make up most of the HIV cases. She deserved to die. She played with a man's life and boldly told him. Talk about how some HIV positive black people spread this disease knowingly to their wives and boyfriends. What about the down low black men who shows no regard for their wives but they silently infect them. Stopped trying to victimized evil people, who do evil things, and who perishes from their evil doing. She deserved what she did to that man. There is no telling how many other men that she would have knowingly infected if she would not have died.
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