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