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HIV Disclosure Laws: Prevent the Spread and Use Protection

By HERWriter
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Surprises can be fun, but not when it comes to STDs — especially HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, one Arkansas man knowingly gave a woman HIV recently, a surprise she definitely didn’t ask for, according to ABC 11 news. According to the article, he pleaded not guilty. If he is guilty, he could face six to 30 years in prison for passing along HIV through unprotected sex.

Though it is immoral for a person to pass along HIV while knowing he or she has it, the partner should always demand protection, whether it is a female or male condom or birth control, etc. This would have at least eliminated the likelihood of contracting HIV. However, the woman mentioned did not protect herself and is now suffering the consequences of her partner’s possible deception.

For those who decide they don’t care who they pass their HIV/AIDS on to, think again. There are laws against this deadly deception.

According to the Well Project Web site, people with HIV/AIDS should inform anyone who could have contracted the virus, especially sex partners. It is advised to tell close family and friends, mainly to garner support.

The Web site also states that in most states, there are laws that require the disclosure of your condition, at least when the virus can be passed on to another person in certain situations.

However, not everyone knows about these laws, even to the extent that a study was conducted on “HIV positive persons’ awareness and understanding of their state’s criminal HIV disclosure law.” Fortunately, the Oct. 2008 study found that most participants knew their state at least had a law about HIV disclosure, though most were uncertain about certain aspects of the law.

Though each state may differ, the general consensus is that those with HIV need to warn those who have the possibility of getting infected. Michigan is one state that has such a law. This law states that sexual penetration without informing another of his or her HIV status is a felony. The law is known as Act 368 of 1978.

Basically, if you have HIV, respect those around you and try to prevent the spread of the infection.

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HERWriter Guide

The Oprah Winfrey Show today was titled "Sex As A Deadly Weapon" and featured the stories of five suburban American women with successful careers who are dealing with HIV. All said they dated and slept with a man they called handsome and charismatic, a man who turned out to be very different from what he portrayed to them, and was HIV positive. Kudos to these women for telling their stories to millions of others through the television show.

You can learn more at these links:





October 20, 2009 - 5:43pm

20/20 had a special on a man who carried multiple relationships at the same time and infected over 15 women with HIV. He knew he had it and never disclosed it. In fact, he insisted on having sex without protection. He was prosecuted and found guilty for knowingly infecting all of these women. It was very sad because a lot of these women had spent 4 or 5 years with this man when they realized they were sick and he kept telling them that he was fine.

I'm glad there are laws about this otherwise I believe more ill-hearted people would be doing harm out of bitterness.

October 14, 2009 - 5:39am
HERWriter Guide

Rheyanne - Great information, thanks. While it would be ideal if those with HIV always warned those who have the possibility of getting infected, that's not always going to happen, and we need to take precautions for ourselves to protect our own health.
Take good care,

October 13, 2009 - 5:59pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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