HIV/AIDS and Criminal Actions 

A recent case in Ohio raises the question about whether or not a person who knowingly infected another person with HIV/AIDS should be held criminally liable. 

From FoxNews,

A married man accused of not telling his longtime girlfriend that he was HIV-positive was charged with murder after the woman died of AIDS.

A judge on Tuesday set bond at $1.5 million for Ronald Murdock, who was indicted last week in the February death of 51-year-old Kimberly Klempner.
Murdock, 51, of Toledo, was also is charged with felonious assault. A message seeking comment on the accusations was left with his attorney.

The man had unprotected sex with his girlfriend, who later died as a result of the infection. She didn’t know that she had been exposed until it was too late to receive treatment. 

A number of states have Partner Notification laws, which are meant to inform sexual partners about any potential infection from the disease. In many cases, failure to notify is a criminal act. 

AIDS advocates, given the success that has been gained in treatment, want to see such laws abolished or minimized. However, given the cost of treatment alone, and the ease of infection, I don’t think that doing so is a wise move. And the above case demonstrates the heartlessness and selfishness that seems to go along with the issue. 

Personally, I have had friends who were unknowingly infected with the disease, one being a friend who engaged in homosexual behavior, and a friend who acquired it during his time in the Navy during shore leave. The former died due to similar circumstances in the story above and the latter struggles to pay for his medication to keep the disease in check.  This disease isn’t something that you shrug off and, right now, it’s incurable. 

AIDS and HIV could essentially be wiped out in a generation through aggressive testing and isolation of infected individuals. I could explain what I mean by that, but I’ll let a gay man do that. 


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