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Should We See This More Often? Man Jailed for Deliberately Giving Girlfriend Genital Herpes

By HERWriter Guide
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A man in England deliberately held back information about his genital herpes from his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. She then contracted the disease from him and didn't find out that he had known all along until their relationship came to an end. She promptly went to the police.

The case recently went to court and a judge ultimately sentenced the man to 14 months after he pleaded guilty to inflicting "grievous bodily harm". The judge told the man that he had given his ex-girlfriend a lifetime of pain that may recur throughout her life and had betrayed her trust.

Many health care experts are very angry at the sentence. One spokesperson from the Herpes Viruses Association said the entire affair is "outrageous" and will lead to a slippery slide of even children being taken to task for passing infections to each other. And another sexual health expert, Dr. Colm O'Mahony dismissed genital herpes as a mere "cold sore in an awkward place."

In the U.S, having unprotected sex while knowingly carrying HIV is illegal and punishable by imprisonment in many states and well over half of American states have prosecuted men or women who knowingly had unprotected sex while knowing they were HIV-positive. In many other countries (Australia, New Zealand, the U.K and Russia to name a few) it's also a crime. Although most people can live long and healthy lives while living with HIV (as long as they take the necessary precautions and medications) it still remains a death sentence for many.

For more on the genital herpes case in the U.K., click here: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/16/outrage-after-uk-man-jailed-for-giving-partner-genital-herpes/?intcmp=obinsite

Cases like this also lead to questions about other sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and the fact that many people don't actually inform their partners of their status. Obviously, everyone should, but do you think there should be legal repercussions for those that don't, especially if it can be proven in court? Do you think of something like genital herpes as simply a cold sore in a rather embarrassing location or is it a serious offense to deliberately subject someone to possible infection? Tell us your opinions!

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

40mil in the uk with herpes simplex 1 and 6 with simplex 2... in the us i've read 1 in 6 and a higher prevalence in black women. do you honestly think the court systems could handle this?

would you be writing this story if the genders were reversed?

what about the cases where a woman pokes a hole in a condom or stops taking birth control with the intent to become pregnant against the fathers wish. sure its rare but it does happen...should we not fine or imprison the mother. how about more realistically a court order for no financial obligation.

on a side note the empowerher site has a lot of ads for cleaning supplies and make up... haha some empowerment

one sided movements can not create equality. they create war. war creates profit. cosmetics and clothing to embrace your "freedom" have a heck of a mark up.

September 6, 2011 - 2:00am
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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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