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HIVer Gets 45 Years for Using Body Fluids as a "Deadly Weapon"

June 3, 2009

Everyone knows that HIV is dangerous, but does that make transmitting it a form of assault? A Texas jury has ruled yes, in finding Philippe Padieu guilty of six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon: his body fluids. As the Dallas Morning News reported on May 30, Padieu was sentenced by a jury to 45 years in prison.

Despite the lengthy jail term, this case differs from a recent ruling in Iowa in which a judge sentenced an HIV-positive man to 25 years in prison for not disclosing his status to one sex partner. In that case, the accuser tested negative and the HIVer pleaded guilty, so many view the sentence as unfair. Padieu, on the other hand, withheld his status from multiple women, infected six of them and placed the blame entirely on their shoulders while maintaining his own innocence. DNA evidence was used to prove otherwise.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Ryan ( Australia) Sat., Jan. 2, 2010 at 6:57 am EST
people who knowingly transmit herpes and similar diseases should be punished accordingly as well, not as harsh of course, but some sort of assault or even grevious bodily harm charge would fit each crime perfectly.

Most people on here seem to be on the road of '2 wrongs = right', just because someone practiced unsafe sex does not justify someone else knowingly infecting others with a disease in such an intimately contagious way.

it's like saying, because the customers didn't go into the kitchen and look at the procedures used to make their food, they can't sue for knowingly and nelgently getting food poisoning and dieing due to the effects of it. As humans we must have a certain level of trust at 1 point or another, those who abuse it should be put away.
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Comment by: Paul (Los Angeles) Wed., Oct. 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm EDT
We're not taking here about STDs like Gonorrhea, which can safely be treated with some antibiotics. We're talking about a deadly virus which if you know you have it and intensionally pass it to others by having unprotected sex then you know you are giving that person a slow death! It is clearly a crime... and should be dealt with like one.
My own two words about the virus:
The best way to prevent HIV from spreading is to know when you have it and not pass it on to other people. That's why HIV testing should be mandatory!! Let's say every 6 months for unmarried people and less frequently for married ones. And it should be required by LAW that those infected should inform about it the people they intend to sleep with. Imagine if everyone who's HIV positive knew about it and not pass it to others... the virus wouldn't spread anymore and would almost completely disappear from our lives, along with their carriers...
I don't know why governments didn't make a law about it by now. To test everyone for free would cost them a fraction of what they're currently spending on expensive treatments for HIV positive patients.
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Comment by: Guytano Parks (Lakewood, OH) Sat., Sep. 19, 2009 at 12:13 am EDT
I just saw the excellent 20/20 story on the despicable Philippe Padieu (not because he is HIV+, but because he intentionally withheld that information when having unprotected sexual contact with muuuuultiple partners). The correct verdict was given despite the unfortunate fact that Texas does not require a person who is aware of their HIV+ status to disclose that fact to sexual partners. Assinine! HEY, TEXAS: HELLLLLO! GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!
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Comment by: ikenna (ireland) Thu., Jun. 11, 2009 at 8:22 am EDT
HIV and unprotected sex is like cigarette and smokers. despite all the warning about risks and dangers of smoking, people choose to smoke and despite all the warning about risks and dangers of unprotected sex, people choose to have it that way. It's ridiculous that the same government that issues licenses to tobacco companies to manufacture deadly poison can throw a HIVer into prison simply because his or her sex partner chose to have unprotected sex. That's gross injustice in our justice system. everybody knows that smoking is more deadly than HIV.
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Comment by: emma (galway, ireland) Wed., Jun. 10, 2009 at 10:34 am EDT
it's unacceptable to deliberately infect other people with HIV. but from rational point of view, the responsibility of protection should lie with those who haven't got this virus; reason because HIV travels only one way, into ur body and once there no way out. i agree with some comments here which suggest that everybody is a victim of HIV, let's treat them who've got this disease with some empathy, not as criminals.
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Comment by: l (Orlando, Fl.) Sat., Jun. 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm EDT
My boyfriend had been positive for 10 years when we met and we initially practiced safe sex, but he never disclosed his status. He received no treatment until he started getting very ill - after we were together for 3 years and I found out by accident from an ER doctor. I then tested positive. I was very angry over the deceit, but I accepted a certain amount of blame myself for not being smart -- I just trusted him and he was a good person. He nearly died, but recovered and we stayed together a few more years, but our relationship could never be the same. I have no idea how many other women may have been infected from him. I think it was fear that kept him silent. I am still angry because of the expense and worry over my medical care and meds that I have to take. I am now 60 and facing challenges I never anticipated. I don't think people should be incarcerated for non-dislosure, but maybe HIV testing should be mandatory so that we all know what we're dealing with and can make informed choices.
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Comment by: james (ireland) Fri., Jun. 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm EDT
i think it's time to stand up and challange discrimination against people with hiv. hiv will continue to spread and stigma will double unless the whole world in one word describe hiv legally. more and more people will refuse to take hiv test if the result of the test might make them criminals. if having hiv is a crime in a particular country, then the hiv test must be compulsory in that country. there are millions out there who have not taken hiv test, if such an individual is positive he or she could still pass it on though innocently for reason of ignorant. it's time to address this blunder in our justice system. we are all victims of hiv because everybody living with hiv today got it from somebody. mind you i'm negative but i hate injustice, what with this type of injustice that is putting more and more people at risk.
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Comment by: goodman (dublin-ireland) Fri., Jun. 5, 2009 at 9:00 pm EDT
got to be honest, i've said this b4 and i'm saying it again and will say it again; being HIV positive is not a crime. the criminal is the virus itself, that's why more resources should be thrown into finding a cure. HIVers are morally bound not to infect others and those who have tested negative should be legally bound not to contract it. but if any judge or jury founds guity where HIV transmission is the case, both parties should get some sentence. that'll send a clear message out there and make the non carriers to be more carefull.
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Comment by: Tyler (Louisville ,Kentucky) Thu., Jun. 4, 2009 at 8:51 pm EDT
If the women did not want to be infected they should of had safe sex. Both parties are equally at fault. They all made choices to have sex and then to have unsafe sex. It should not matter what they thought they knew or did not know. They did know this. When having unsafe sex that it puts all of them in the position of being infected with either known or unknown STDs from each other.
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Comment by: Lauren (San Diego) Thu., Jun. 4, 2009 at 8:51 pm EDT
I am sorry but to compare something like Gonorrhea to HIV/AIDS is not right.

HIV once you have it, its always in you. Gonorrhea can safely be treated with some antibiotics. How can people compare the two. I agree, people SHOULD be responsible for their own health.

But do you think that it's ok to have someone to keep infecting people? He infected 6 people, that is not right.

How would that be different if let's say he was poking needles into them with his HIV blood.
I am Hiv Positive. And I agree with you, but this isn't right.
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Comment by: PozPitcher (USA) Thu., Jun. 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm EDT
Crossing the lines of precedence are always telling about a society. Next it will be mucus or the gas from a fart. Someone will successfully sue another kid's parents for their kid's contracting a cold or flu that put their little precious out of a scholarship competition claiming some body fluid or another caused material damage to their child.

If HIV can be used as a weapon, imagine how it's already being used to fight Al Quida, or some other insurgency somewhere in the world. The most fun biowarfare has had in a long time!
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Comment by: David Weinman (San Francisco, CA) Thu., Jun. 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm EDT
I urge everyone to read the whole story in the Dallas paper. Not only is this the story of an irresponsible man but of also of religiously dogmatic society and - dare I say - irresponsible women. The juror who emphasized with the women because 'there are things she doesn't tell her daughter' jeopardizes that girl. The Bush administration's insistence that HIV prevention's first priority be with HIV+ people was and is motivated by further religious dogma, which blames the infected for the disease. In that condemnation is the automatic assumption that there is only "disclosure" ... shouldn't I also ask a new partner? Don't we all have a responsibility for our own health? We don't ask because it is rude, it is an insult to even suspect someone else of being so "morally corrupt" as to be infected. In 2009 is anyone unaware there are risks? How many of us have asked, or been asked ... why not? ...
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Comment by: Jason (Seattle) Thu., Jun. 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm EDT
I certainly donīt agree with Paulīs comment. What happens with the women? Werenīt they old enough to know what they were doing? If they had unprotected sex it is because they also accepted to do so, so I do not think the guy should at all be sentenced to jail!
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Comment by: Dennis (Miami, FL) Wed., Jun. 3, 2009 at 11:04 pm EDT
I feel that everyone knows that having unsafe sex is dangerous. So if he did not have HIV but Chlamydia or Gonorrhea or Genital Herpes or Trichomoniasis or Syphilis or all of the above and he or she gives it to someone do they go to prison? I know what you are thinking, you can't die from all types of STDs, I got news for you, yes, you can. HIV is not the only STD you can die from. That's why I feel it's safe sex with a Condom or no sex at all. And you need to think about your life every time.

I think that we need to start thinking as if every one has an STD. Come on with all the news out there about having Safe sex and you go out and have unsafe sex. You will get an STD! You're playing with your life and that's a game that I'll think two times before I do.

And with all the medication out there, I don't think having HIV is deadly weapon. You can live your life but you have to take care of your life and take your medication everyday.
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Comment by: paul (Surrey BC Canada) Wed., Jun. 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm EDT
I think this guy deserves to have the death penalty. If it was a legitimate case of he innocently didn't know he was positive that is one thing, but to deliberately infect 6 women is nothing short attempted murder. Some of these women may die, but at best their lives have changed forever with their life being dependent on drugs to survive. I say throw away the key. A needle is too good for him!!!!
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