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Author Topic: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?  (Read 9147 times)

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Offline fearless

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2007, 01:37:07 AM »
JK,

It likely depends on the law where you are.

Personally, I think disclosure laws suck. They don't stop HIV transmission, and place too much of the responsibility onto the +ve person.

In New South Wales, I would say the mere publication of your status does not count as disclosure. Short of adopting Philly's suggestion of a signed waiver, we are pretty much stuffed here as far as the law is concerned. The public health act requires disclosure of all sexually transmissible medical conditions prior to any sexual intercourse, whether or not you use a condom. The second limb of this law is that the other person has to 'be informed of and voluntarily agree to accept the risk of transmission'. How you can prove any of this in a one on one bedroom situation, without some form of signed waiver is beyond me. The penalty for breaking this law is $5,500.

On top of this, we are also subject to the Crimes Act, under which if you intentionally or recklessly infect somebody with HIV (or any other 'serious' disease). You can be prosecuted for Malicious Infliction of Grievace Bodily Harm and senteced up to 25 years in gaol (jail, for you Americans). You do something 'recklessly' if you do it believing there is a risk of something happening as a result and going ahead anyway. ie if you have HIV, have sex without a condom and do not disclose first, you are likely to be considered as having acted recklessly. This also applies to a person who has reason to think they might have HIV.

It is also possible, although I'm not sure if it has been tested in the Courts, that any consent by the -ve person may not be viewed as real consent if alcohol or drugs were involved. That is, if the other person says they were too pissed or too high to remember disclosure or too pissed to give real consent, you are probably up shit creek without a paddle. However, there is also a chance the Aussie courts would take into account English cases where the courts have said that if your partner knows you have HIV and consents to the risk of contracting HIV by having sex then the HIV +ve person has a defence.

Mostly, I just try to forget these laws exist as they do my head in when I think too hard about them.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline jimw

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2007, 09:48:36 AM »
If you met someone though, say POZ personals, and it is in your POZ personal profile, then yes, I think that would be legally sufficient notice.  However, simply having it in an on-line profile is not "legal notice" to the world, or potential sexual partners, that you have HIV/AIDS. 

I personally think the "HIV Criminilization" laws are misplaced, archaic and a hysteric response to HIV/AIDS.  What ever happend to shared responsibility?  The laws place the responsibility square on the shoulders of those with HIV/AIDS to tell their sexual partner their status - what ever happend on acknowledging the responsibility of someone to ask their sexual partner his/her status?

Personally, I am only interested in going out with guys who have HIV/AIDS.  My decision to serosort, however, has nothing to do with these laws, which I feel are nothing more that an ill socitey's need for retribution, and have nothing to do with stopping the spread of HIV - after all, its been 20 plus years since most of these laws were enacted and HIV/AIDS is still here and still spreading!!!




Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2007, 10:00:37 AM »
  However, simply having it in an on-line profile is not "legal notice" to the world, or potential sexual partners, that you have HIV/AIDS. 

Can you - or anyone - quantify this assertion with legal precedent? I understand feeling that it is not ethically or morally sufficient, but it seems FAR more quantifiable than a private conversation, legally speaking.



"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

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Offline ACinKC

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2007, 10:20:20 AM »
WELL, I guess if I was a lawyer.  And jonathan was my HIV+ client and he was being sued by someone saying that he didnt disclose, but it was clearly on his profile.  My arguement would probably be about how online stings to catch child predators use "profile" information such as their ages to convict, and therefore in the eyes of the court they are sufficient enough to convict then they are sufficient enough to be considered full disclosure.  In addition to the fact that there was no OMISSION of facts regarding the HIV status.  It was out front for all to see.  I think we have ourselves a winner.


It would make for an interesting case to be sure.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2007, 11:39:43 AM »
WELL, I guess if I was a lawyer.  And jonathan was my HIV+ client and he was being sued by someone saying that he didnt disclose, but it was clearly on his profile.  My arguement would probably be about how online stings to catch child predators use "profile" information such as their ages to convict, and therefore in the eyes of the court they are sufficient enough to convict then they are sufficient enough to be considered full disclosure.  In addition to the fact that there was no OMISSION of facts regarding the HIV status.  It was out front for all to see.  I think we have ourselves a winner.


It would make for an interesting case to be sure.

I should add that in that case if you have IM's with someone and clearly discuss the issue that you maintain a log of the on-line conversation.  I know with many IM applications you can do this feature electronically.  That is how they do it with on-line predators on NBC!
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline jimw

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2007, 12:05:35 PM »
Can you - or anyone - quantify this assertion with legal precedent? I understand feeling that it is not ethically or morally sufficient, but it seems FAR more quantifiable than a private conversation, legally speaking.





I hate to admit what I do for a living - but I am a lawyer.  The reason I said it would not be "legal notice" to the world that you have HIV/AIDS is that there is no obligation for a person to search the internet for information on an individual so it could not constitute knowledge, even constructive knowledge.  As I said, if you have it on a web site and you met that individual through that web site, for example on POZ Personals, then it probably could be argued that it was not only constructive knowlwege but actual knowledge.   

I am completely against the criminilization of HIV statues/laws.  The serve no purpose to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS - the alleged reason for the laws.  We should not use criminal laws to deal with conduct that carries the risk of HIV transmission.  These laws donít target people who intentionally set out to infect other individuals.  The vast majority of these laws simply require that the positive partner in a sex act was aware of his or her status and did not reveal it.  Transmission is not required by any state.  In my mind, these laws undermine real prevention strategies, create a serious risk for the continued spread of the disease by creating a false sense of security and are nothing more than a societyís need for revenge and retribution. 

Offline fearless

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2007, 07:26:51 PM »
I'm no lawyer, JK, but have to deal with privacy legislation a fair bit in my job. Under our Privacy Act, publication of personal information does equate to disclosure, which if done without the express permission of the person amounts to a breach of the Act.

However, I'm not sure how it stacks up for disclosure of ones status. You would need to establish a few facts. Firstly, that the disclosure was actually there on the website on the date of the 'incident', that the disclosure was prominent and not hidden within other material. The words used may also be important - simply stating 'poz' may not be enough (I can see it being argued in a court that the term 'poz' may simply refer to ones disposition ie a positive outlook on life, and does not equal disclosure).

You also need to look at the wording of the actual law in your country or state. Where I live, I am also hamstrung with the additional burden of establishing that the other person has voluntarily accepted the risk. That is, disclosure itself is not good enough. I not only have to establish that I have disclosed, but also that the other person has voluntarily accepted the risk. If they are drunk or high, a court may find that they were not in a position to accept the risk.

Thankfully, these things are rarely prosecuted, but it does happen.

Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline milker

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2007, 07:56:20 PM »
And then there is the chaser that tells you he's poz but he's not, gets poz then realizes that this was not really a good idea and sues..

That's a lot of "whatifs"

Is there a case that has gone to court?

Milker.
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2007, 08:17:31 PM »
Is there a case that has gone to court?

A few "inflicting grevious bodily disease" cases have gone to court in NSW over the last few years. If memory serves they all involved HIV+ straight men infecting unsuspecting women. In at least one case the miscreant lied to the poor wench in question.

As I recall, all resulted in gaol terms for the wicked perpetrator.

MtD

Offline fearless

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2007, 09:38:42 PM »
There was also a recent case in Queensland.

And, this particular case I find somewhat problematic. A gay couple having unprotected sex for a couple of months, initially one guy HIV +ve the other -ve. In the end, the -ve guy became HIV +ve and claimed the first guy never disclosed. The +ve guy claimed that he did disclose and that they reached a mutual decision not to use condoms.

I've not read the transcripts of the case, but at the end of the day they did not believe that the +ve guy had disclosed and that the -ve guy consented. How they reached this conclusion I do not know. The +ve guy was sentenced to 10 years gaol.

Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2007, 03:39:20 AM »
I was listening to the news this afternoon and apparently some poofter from Melbourne is being prosecuted to death for spreading Teh QueerPlague about like confetti. I'll dig up a link.

MtD

Offline jimw

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2007, 09:46:00 AM »


Is there a case that has gone to court?

Milker.

there have been some prosecutions; mostly against heterosexual men who had unprotected sex with women.  There was a case last year in the UK where the gentleman was convicted of reckless HIV transmission after evidence was presented that he had unprotected sex with numerous men, some of who were HIV-postiive themselves.  There was also a prosecution in New Jersey in 1990 where a HIV positive man was convicted of attempted murder, assault, and terroristic threats following an incident in which he allegedly bit and spat on guards at a county jail. 

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2007, 12:06:25 PM »
I was listening to the news this afternoon and apparently some poofter from Melbourne is being prosecuted to death for spreading Teh QueerPlague about like confetti. I'll dig up a link.

MtD

I just encountered that story myself... rather disturbing if you ask me.  Clearly this case seems to cross over to "mentally disturbed":

source

Quote
HIV positive man held orgies 'to infect others'
March 20, 2007 11:37am

AN HIV-positive Melbourne man organised orgies to deliberately infect other men with the virus, a court was told today.

Michael John Neal, 48, of suburban Coburg, faces 122 charges relating to sex with 16 men when he was knowingly infected with the HIV virus between 2000 and 2006.

He is accused of infecting two people with HIV over this period.
...
Prosecutor Mark Rochford told the court Mr Neal's reasons for infecting other men with HIV was to increase the number of men he could have unprotected sex with.
...
Mr Rochford told the court Mr Neal organised sex parties and orgies, which were called "conversion parties'', to thus facilitate the infection of people with HIV.

He said some people attending the parties were aware of this and others were not.

When interviewed by police, Mr Neal denied deliberately infecting people with HIV and said that he had a document from a doctor saying the chances of him infecting others was very low.

I guess that's one time a note from his doctor didn't help.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 12:09:34 PM by philly267 »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline FunkyMonkey

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2007, 12:46:31 PM »
Great question!  I'm old enough--and been poz long enough to remember the days BEFORE internet communication  :)  I remember the brave souls who decided that body ink could be a form of disclosure--biohazard tattoos etc.  I run a program that has a section about "How, When, Where" to disclose HIV status for others living with HIV.  When I think about adding "Poz" etc to an online name, while I don't think it counts as a full disclosure, I think it can be a way to start the dreaded conversation.  So, I think those that choose these names may be just as brave as the aforementioned disclosure-by-tattoo friends I had (Ok, so there's more blood involved in a tat :) )

I however don't think that JUST having a name that uses a "positive identifyer" is enough to 'count' as a disclosure--there are some really dense people out there.  Disclosure is a two-way street.  It involves the person disclosing their HIV status being open and clear, and the person receiving this information to know what it means.

Again--great conversation starter.  Just hope the conversation happens.

-Marco

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Is online profile disclosure.... disclosure?
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2007, 12:19:07 AM »
Jonathon... I have strong opinions on this topic.
I go back and forth between saying I'm HIV+ online and leaving it blank.
When it's there... if I'm in a city like Atlanta or Phoenix... I get wayyyy more hits.  In a place like Cincinnati, I get far fewer.   I measured it once in Phoenix. 

Anyway.  Here's the thing.  Most gay men have the attention span of a dog in a duck farm.  See the pretty shiny thing.. it's a penis.  You can't expect to be cruising online for sex and have someone pay attention to anything but the pics you have expertly picked out to maximize your attractiveness.  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten bent out of shape because someone didn't spot HIV+ in my profile.    I gave up caring.  I just tell them.  If you're on for sex, you're on for sex. 

I personally don't particularly care if the whole world knows I'm positive.   However, I do have stategies.   If I'm online for sex, I generally leave it in.  It weeds out a lot of guys who do care, who actually do read.  If a guy who has HIV- in his profile hits me up, then I bring it up quickly.   And even if they don't care, it's fairly unlikely I will play with them.    I can usually find a poz guy to play with.  If the guy is blank, don't know, or hiv+ I bring it up fairly quickly too, although not necessarily.  Sometimes, I'd rather gauge interest first, then bring it up.     
 
If I'm online because I'm in a scintillating place like Lima Ohio (like today) and just want someone to chat with.. I leave it out.  Because, most guys will chat with me based on the pics... eventually I can usually fine someone to talk to who will have something intelligent to say.   In fact, I had dinner with a guy who is also in town here on business tonight.. not sexual.. thankfully.  I met him online... and we ended up having a really nice conversation.  I believe this to have happened like this to a large degree to the persona I projected online tonight.

If I'm looking for a relationship.... well that's a whole different ball of wax.  I suppose I would consider dating a guy who is negative.  But he'd have to walk on water.  I cannot imagine, however, letting myself go enough to fall in love with someone whom I feared I would infect.  I need physical intimacy in my life.  I need it to be with the man I love.  In times of my life where I have been looking for an LTR and attempted to use websites to pursue that goal, I have always posted HIV+.

Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

 


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