November 15, 2005
The case of an HIV-positive Canadian Football League player "has rekindled debate" over whether HIV-positive athletes "should be barred from competition," the New York Times reports. Trevis Smith, a seven-season veteran of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders, was arrested on Oct. 28 and charged with aggravated sexual assault. The police disclosed Smith's HIV-positive status to the public, saying such a warning was necessary. Team officials said they had been aware of Smith's status for about one year but privacy laws had prevented them from disclosing the information to his teammates. At a Nov. 2 hearing, Smith, who denies the charges, was freed on bail of about $8,300 and ordered by a judge to use condoms, disclose to his sexual partners that he is HIV-positive and give up his passport. The judge did not provide conditions on Smith's eligibility to continue playing in the CFL. Although Smith continued playing in the league after he disclosed his status to team officials, he has been listed on the Roughriders' disabled list and has not played since his arrest. The case comes nearly a decade after National Basketball Association star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who is HIV-positive, made a second comeback to the league, after concerns from several NBA players led him to end his first comeback attempt in 1992. Some CFL players are expressing similar concerns, and the Canadian Public Health Association is distributing HIV/AIDS educational information to the nine CFL teams (Westhead, New York Times, 11/15).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2005 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.