South Dakota: No One Else Yet Infected With HIV
May 20, 2002
South Dakota Health Department officials say test results are negative for all 31 Aberdeen-area residents checked for HIV. The tests were conducted after two HIV-positive Aberdeen men were charged with intentionally exposing others to the virus. Health Department officials plan to continue to test the 31 residents for the next six months because the virus can have a long incubation period.
Whether those exposed to HIV actually become infected will have no bearing on the criminal charges against William Jenigen, 35, and Jay Wood, 41, two HIV-positive Aberdeen men involved in the case, according to Brown County State's Attorney Mark McNeary. "We're going by the letter of the law, which states that it isn't pertinent whether their victims were infected," McNeary said. "Our investigation has revealed that the victims did not know," Jenigen and Woods were HIV-positive, the prosecutor said, "And that's the reason they were charged."
Both men have been released on $25,000 personal recognizance bonds. Jenigen has said the individuals with whom he had sex knew he was HIV positive. According to South Dakota law, those who knowingly expose others to HIV can get up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Jenigen faces six counts; Woods faces three.
About a year ago, they moved from California to Aberdeen, where they became partners and roommates.
In a separate case in April, an HIV-positive college student in Huron exposed others to the virus, and three other people were infected, South Dakota authorities have said. More than 200 people have been tested for the virus in the Huron area as a result of the case.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.