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Author Topic: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......  (Read 9063 times)

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Offline skeebo1969

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Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« on: July 01, 2006, 01:43:35 AM »


This is the same story that Ann shared with us.  This is an account on how the charges were brought forth....

http://www.rastafarispeaks.com/cgi-bin/forum/config.pl?noframes;read=74640

I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2006, 09:44:43 AM »
As someone who has been slandered here on this very forum with half truths and outright lies, I shudder to think that we take a prosecutor's office spokesman and an angry ex-lover as gospel. I know what it's like to have my words and actions misinterpreted, and to be in the position of ignoring or defending the virtually indefensable.

However, the evil nature, the intent, the actions of this woman do not in any way negate the culpability of men who willingly had unprotected sex with her. I still see the responsibility as a total two way street here. They were willing to go without condoms, in many cases after she refused to get an STD/HIV test with them.

HIv prevention is not about finding out if your partner is "clean." HIV prevention is using condoms each and every time until said time as you get tested together, and test negative. Hell, even then, the test is only as good as the day/hour the blood is drawn. Thing is, even if the worst case scenarios presented here are absolutely true, the men STILL had the responsibility to protect themselves. The fact that (according to some of the men) she was throwing up red flags left and right about her HIV status does not, in my opinion, help the case that they were victims of an unswerving, unavoidable monster.

I write this keeping in mind how I was infected, by someone who swore they were tested, by someone who swore they were not cheating, by someone with whom I lived and who had access to every area of my life.  Were they monstrous? Their actions certainly were, insofar as I was concerned. But was I responsible for my choice? YES.

We are not talking person steps out into the street and gets his by drunk driver here. We are talking the adult choice to remove condoms and have unprotected penetrative sex. That's a mutual decision, and one with risks - including the risk of an STD. In my case, it ultimately proved to be a foolish and gullible choice, whose consequences FAR outweighed the emotional and physical misstep.

But that's what happens sometimes. Life has this way of not being fair, so far as we can see with our human-hindered eyes.

Had I not held myself accountable for my actions, and realized (albeit eventually) that HIV is a pathogen, nothing more or less, to which I exposed myself (however misled, however mistaken) I would still be living in that moment, yanked from linear time and insane with anger. I would be helpless to move past it, because I would not have taken responsibility for  the direction, right or wrong, that my life had gone.

I was not a child. I was not raped. I made the best choice I knew to make under those circumstances. And I paid a price - am still paying a price - that is in no way commiserate with the depth of my foolishness.

And that's what happens in the world. I submit that almost every man and woman alive has, at some point, taken an action in a moment of foolishness which, under the worst possible circumstances, could have had dire outcomes. I submit that most sexually active people have, at some point, participated willingly in behaviours which could have exposed themselves to an STD including HIV. Are the vast majority who "lucked out" somehow superior? Is there character based on dodging a bullet?

I just find it odd that we give HIV so much POWER as a determination of character, and so LITTLE credit for it's pathogenic nature. Much in the way we give this woman so much power as a deliverer of disease, and the men so little power as those who accepted the risk.

Then again, who said life was fair? We are pariahs, and are likely to remain so far beyond my little trek across this solar system.

I still think we need to fight it, though.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Ann

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2006, 10:22:02 AM »
Just for everyone's information, the Sun newspaper, published in the UK, is just about the equivalent of the National Enquirer in it's reliability as a source of real news. They pay people for "kiss and tell" stories, often presenting opinion as though it were fact.

I read that article the day it came out and I gave it about as much credence as I would any other gossip rag.

The original poster in Tom's thread likened the Sun to toilet paper. I wouldn't even use it for that.

Ann
(trying to shed some perspective on a very inflammatory account written in a very inflammatory, right-wing-nutjob-garbage-presented-as-fact, newspaper.)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 12:31:03 PM »
Hi Tom
I looked in on Ann's thead on this topic quite late into it so I didnt bother posting on it, but seeing as you've started this thread now I just wanted to say that I agree with your point of view on this (as I think you will probably have guessed from past threads/discussions).

However, I must admit even I was uncomfortable/unimpressed with this particular Sun article and the way it was written, yet you all must pretty much know by now where I stand on reckless hiv transmission.

I'm with you 100% on your standpoint, just maybe not the best choice of reportage on the matter!

Incidently, I used to line my kitty cats litter tray with better quality paper than any choice of UK tabloid... ;D

Melia
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 09:40:12 PM »


  Hey I think I found the same link in the National Enquirer ;)
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline AC_72

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 10:08:47 PM »
...hmmmmm...this is a very interesting subject that has crossed my mind since my recent induction to this exclusive club.

Yes, it does take two - and it is the responsibility of both (or all) parties involved....HOWEVER,someone who is positive should come forward with the information.  I thought I was being safe without intercourse...but apparently not safe enough!

I don't know what I'm trying to say here - I guess that this simply struck a cord with me.  I tell myself it is as much my fault as anyone elses, but looking into South/Eastern laws around HIV transmission and seeking prosecution doesn't seem too bad of an idea at times.

...it helps to get this out.  sorry for the negativity.
Infected:  Feb 2006
Diagnosed:  May 2006
05/02/06:  332,  >500,000 VL
06/22/06:  338,  >500,000 VL
--------><-------
12/01/07:  w/meds <75 VL

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2006, 11:32:07 PM »
I only ask that those in favor of HIV disclosure laws look up what that means in your state/country/territory. The laws vary widely from place to place, and have ramifications regarding privacy and public disclosure that go way beyond the wanton acts of a few individuals.

In my state, for example, you can bring charges against someone for performing fellatio on another without disclosure. As this is not a risk for HIV transmission, the implication here is that exposure to saliva alone is a threat. It is clearly not, but the laws in many cases were written by people with inadequate knowledge of HIV transmission, during a time early in the pandemic when information was nowhere nearly complete nor accurate insofar as transmission vectors are concerned.

The laws, as written, provide little in the way of checks and balance for false accusations. Once a person's status is out, it's out.

What these laws accomplish is the curtailing of HIv awareness, and the resistance to getting tested.  It's a phenomenon I have seen countless times in the FEARS forum as well as within the gay male community.

Don't ask, don't tell.
Don't test, don't know - can't prosecute.

I have yet to see legislated personal responsibility make an impact on society any more than externally imposed democracy does. But it is certainly a quick fix, and our thirst for vengeance is sated. However, at the end of the day we remain pariahs.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline AC_72

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2006, 11:43:50 PM »
"I'm sorry officer, I didn't look at the speed limit sign so how would I know if I was speeding?"

Ignorance is not bliss....and is excusable only up until a certian point....
Infected:  Feb 2006
Diagnosed:  May 2006
05/02/06:  332,  >500,000 VL
06/22/06:  338,  >500,000 VL
--------><-------
12/01/07:  w/meds <75 VL

Offline newt

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2006, 06:00:13 AM »
Her friends and colleagues have put a spirited public defence of her character and said basically it wasn't like that.  Lay your hands on Closer (okay, not exactly top-notch journalism) and read an alternative point of view. 

I do believe the Police exercised what is known as leverage over Mr B to ensure a co-operative witness (he was deeply involved in the dance club scene....)

Given that this case started from her jilted ex who was not even HIV-positive, ie on hearsay, and commanded many thousand hours of police time from the Brixton station, one of the highest crime areas in the UK, and over 2,000 people were interviewed in depth about their (sex) lives, this is, I have decided, out and out victimisation and harassment.  If I went to the police and said I think my neighbour is hitting his wife they'd do jack shit.

- matt "angry" the newt

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Offline Ann

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 06:09:32 AM »
Newt,

I've never heard of "Closer". Can you provide a link... pretty please? Ta.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Cliff

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2006, 06:56:04 AM »
I think the story, as reported in the article Tom linked, does bring up an important point (gossip portion aside).  This case is not just about HIV transmission prosecution.  It's also about race, (as are many of these prosecutions both in the UK and in the US).  As I understand it, (from conversations with HIV positive Africans/Carribean men), the local community (Afro/Carribean) all but demanded that the police investigate and prosecute her (hence the level of manhours spent on the case).  Witch hunt?  Perhaps, but then aren't they all?

I can certainly see their (the community) perspective on this issue.  Had the victims been white women and the perpetrator been a black man, the government would have wasted no time in prosecuting the guy and throwing away the key.  Now that the equal and opposite is true, people in the community demanded that the government do the same and treat, (or protect if you will), the "victims" in this case, just as they would have treated any other "victim."  Though the reality is, just the mere fact that they even had to urge the police to pursue the matter vigoursly, demonstrates the inequality of the situation.

So you have the HIV services organizations (gay white male dominated) that tried to provide her with assistance versus the black dominated community members who wanted her prosecuted.  I guess the police sided with the community members.  This is Brixton afterall.  Plus the government can't be seen as only prosecuting black and gay men for these offenses, while letting others off-the-hook.

There aren't any winners here.  The police may have appeased one group, only to antagonize another.  Because of that, I can see the police's dilemma in dealing with these situations.  But at the end of the day, should I have any problems with harassment, the police will probably be the last folks I seek out for help.

This is the perspective read in Barbados...

http://www.nationnews.com/story/286448301773843.php

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2006, 11:40:37 AM »


Whew!!  A second opinion..... 

  Hey all, maybe it just never really happend!!  I mean she is in jail, which means she is innocent of all charges......

   Whether it's reported by some London based paper.... or some black guy with dreads in Jamaica...  There is truth to it...  Baby girl is in jail right where she belongs!!  Her being in jail does not mean my freedom is in jeopardy!!  What it does do though, is it makes me realize if I am not going to disclose....  if I am not going to wear a condom to protect another from infection... THEN I WILL GO TO JAIL...  I also want to point out that she knew of her status.  I know allot of people try to throw the "what if they don't know?"   That's not the case here, SHE KNEW.

  Now I understand peoples views that the negative population has to be more responsible than we do....  I just don't agree with it.

  In these cases that I have heard it almost always involved a positive person who knows...  and not one, but multiple sex partners that don't...  Whether the neggies choose to protect themselves or not, it does not diminish the wrong that she did!
   I mean I like the stance of " Hey if ya play, ya going to pay!"  Some of these guys will pay!!  They will pick up their positive diagnosis just like we did..
They will have their life turned upside down just like we did... Oh yea, they'll pay!  While they are paying should she be allowed to continue playing?

Thomas

   

 

 

I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2006, 05:43:42 PM »
<<  Whether it's reported by some London based paper.... or some black guy with dreads in Jamaica...  There is truth to it...  Baby girl is in jail right where she belongs!! >>

What boggles my mind is that we, as persons living with an illness characterized by such a stigma, would be so fast to pass judgment on a stranger.

As for this statement:

<< Now I understand peoples views that the negative population has to be more responsible than we do....  I just don't agree with it.>>

I have yet to find a post that states that the negative partner has to be more responsible.

however, I am not capable of presenting facts in this particular case, so I would be as guilty of supposition insofar as this particular incident is concerned as anyone else. I do, however, find it chilling that the tabloids and media have chosen to ignore yet another opportunity to advance the cause for safer sex, condom use, and HIV education in favor of making people with HIV look like predators.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2006, 06:09:18 PM »


  The media Jonathan is not making her look like a predator, she did that herself.
   <<What boggles my mind is that we, as persons living with an illness characterized bu such stigma, would be so fast to pass judgement on a stranger>>

  Well Jon sometimes there are just some bad people...   I don't think she is bad because she is HIV positive.....

  Thomas
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2006, 08:42:21 PM »
I do, however, find it chilling that the tabloids and media have chosen to ignore yet another opportunity to advance the cause for safer sex, condom use, and HIV education in favor of making people with HIV look like predators.

yeah... the media.  :( I don't expect tabloids to take the high road, but the media ... they can make or break issues and hot-buttons    :(

Offline Cliff

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2006, 04:58:03 AM »
I think the story itself is probably advancing the cause for safer sex.  You probably have people, who previously thought they were not at risk, now realizing that they are at risk.  That alone will make some second guess their actions in the future.  Just look at the very first statement made by the author of the link Tom provided (he clearly reminds everyone that they should be using condoms).

I don't know how much more we could realistically expect from the media, (or the courts for that matter).  They have competing, and often conflicting, interests than HIV prevention/stigma reduction.

Offline newt

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2006, 12:49:23 PM »
What to expect from the press: some news perhaps, and factual accuracy for one. Promote condoms v hatred, my money's on hatred. And the tabloid band plays on....

'100 girl HIV revenge'

It's a bloody mess all round.  Where d'you get tickets to the island?

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline penguin

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2006, 12:58:01 PM »

It's a bloody mess all round.  Where d'you get tickets to the island?

...try expedia...high street travel agents are sold out...(insert appropriate emoticon here)

Kate

Offline Cliff

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2006, 07:22:13 PM »
There is a case going on in California where an ex-wife is suing her husband for infecting her (and his sexual partner, presumably his male lover).  Apparently he did not know his status, so the case is based on whether or not he should have reasonably known that he was infected, (i.e., based on the number of unprotected sexual partners he had).  So even intentionally not knowing your status may no longer shield you from the law, (at least in terms of civil cases in the US).

And a 15 year old boy in India committed suicide by setting himself on fire, after learning that his parents were HIV positive, (and possibly being teased by other kids in school).   :'(   :'(   :'(   :'(

Cliff
Whose money is also on hate.

Offline Robert

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2006, 11:56:53 PM »
The California State Supreme Court ruled just today  against those who spread disease HIV to longtime partners.

The ruling only applies to married or monogamous couples and not necessarily to those in casual relationships.

According to the article, the information that may have to be revealed, are the dates and frequency of a man's unprotected sexual contact with other men and with intravenous drug users, other high-risk behavior, and any medical tests or symptoms that might have indicated the defendant or a partner was infected.

Even if the defendent does NOT know his status he is still liable due to his risky behavior.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/03/MNGGCJOJIL7.DTL









« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 11:59:17 PM by Robert »
..........

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2006, 12:06:04 AM »
And our status as pariahs goes roughly where I predicted it would. Man, I hate being right.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2006, 01:15:03 AM »
Well just so long as those who are still angry about their HIV positive status and can't accept their responsibility for their own actions think that justice is being done, the rest of us will just have to put up with it.

MtD
(Who thinks the blame-placers need to wake up to themselves)

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2006, 01:26:23 AM »
Interesting point, matty. I notice that there seems to be a divide between those more recently infected/impacted, and those who have had more time with their diagnosis. Could some of this anger towards complete strangers, based solely ont he word of known fabricators (tabloids) indicate something a little more resonant than simple thirst for justice? What is it that living with the virus does to a person, for a person if you will, that creates an environment where the white-hot rage towards other HIV infected persons becomes dim?

What does that say about us, as a community?

I ask because I notice, have always noticed, a rift between the recently infected/impacted and those who have carried the virus, or carried it's impact with them for decades. Part of that rift is the notion of victimization, of blame, and of responsibility. Another part seems to be an apathy towards activism until financial/social/medical services are directly threatened.

Its all very frustrating to me. And I wonder sometimes if we don't write our pwn prescriptions for pain. First, by participating in the stgimitization of HIV as a predatorial gesture, then, later, by being so afraid of making waves that we sit, like the proverbrial frog in the slowly heated pot, until we are left for dead.

I had intended that observation to be a blog, but it enraged me too much to spend a lot of time thinking about it, especially after my lamb-basting over the Zephyr thread. Where is this white hot rage when it's needed to assist people living with - and dying from - AIDS? Or is there a collective notion that we really ARE getting what we deserve, that the struggles and poverty and stigma are somehow warranted due to the "dirty" nature of our illness?

Seems that was to me sometimes. And if you look at the CLinical Trials and Activism forums, you will see what I mean. Our entire community, it would seem, is being supported and perpetuated by a scant few individuals who are not afraid to make enemies in their quest for justice. And to others, I get the distinct impression that they are a collective embarrassment.

Better to lash out at those who deliberately have unprotected sex. And even then, only at the pozzies, the dirties, the Unclean. Because the negative folks, apparently, are innocents.

We really do most of our detractors work for us, I think.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2006, 01:54:45 AM »
My point exactly JK.

I've noticed of late that there have been several of these "disclosure" and "deliberate infection threads" around the place. I've posted in them a couple of times, but generally I stay away because the issue makes me angry. An angry Matty the Damned is not a pleasant thing.

I appreciate that some of our newly diagnosed members are still coming to terms with what happened to them. I understand that it can take a while to come to terms with an HIV+ diagnosis and that anger is part of the grieving process and that grieving is about loss and a positive diagnosis is a form of loss and blah blah blah.

What I can't understand is why some not so newly diagnosed people like Tom can't get past the fact that they are as responsible for their infection as they person who infected them. In fact I can only think of one person who can legitmately claim that she was not even in part responsible for her infection and that person is XXX.

There, I've said it.

What I can't understand is this gleeful rubbing together of hands when someone, like the unfortunate woman who is the subject of this thread, is slung into prison under the terms of oppressive and vengeful laws. What I can't understand is how other HIV positive people (such as the one or two members of the hang 'em high crowd in this place) fail to see that these offensive and oppressive laws are a far greater threat to the community than what this woman is alleged to have done.

Yup, I said alleged. I'm not convinced that the couple of news links (especially the one in this thread) that have been posted truly reflect what happened. Given the hysteria that still surrounds HIV/AIDS, I suspect that the full truth will never be known. What we do know is that woman is now languishing in prison.

And people here are glad about it. What sort of world is this, when we take satisfaction in the destruction of this woman who is one of our positive sisters? All this energy wasted on stupidity like this thread, when the real issues for HIV positive people and the community in general are crying out to be addressed.

One has to wonder.

MtD


(edited with permission to remove a name)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2007, 09:54:56 AM by Ann »

Offline AC_72

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2006, 02:25:12 AM »
JK

What a terribly horrible downer response.  Yes, I do agree that there is a difference between those of us newly infected/impacted - but understandably so; however, pigeonholing us all into one lump is wholly unfair.....and maybe sounds a bit jaded.

Please don't take offense - I know better than to get into a pissing match with you.  ;D

Speaking only from my experience, I have always been involved with AIDS benefits, etc....no matter where I lived - coast, central, to coast; however, the circumstances around my being infected did knock me for a loop.  Initially (for a VERY short while) thoughts were of rage toward the person it came from..but then subsided since it takes two, and I (negative at the time) did have responsibility at the time as well.

Now, the primary responsibility lies on my shoulders to ensure I don't continue this line.  This (obviously) isn't a perfect world; however, if every positive person takes the responsibility upon themselves to ensure it stops with them, a huge difference could be made.  This responsibility cannot logically rely upon negative persons, because they don't fully get it....and I can say that because I now know that I OBVIOUSLY didn't get it until 5 months ago - litterally and figuratively.

Did this make any sense!?  I'm usually a little more put together but I'm still struggling with my own views - which is probably another reason why there appears to be a divide between newbies and veterans of this disease....good or bad.   :(
Infected:  Feb 2006
Diagnosed:  May 2006
05/02/06:  332,  >500,000 VL
06/22/06:  338,  >500,000 VL
--------><-------
12/01/07:  w/meds <75 VL

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2006, 02:50:57 AM »


    Jon and Matty,

    Pat yourselves on the back!!  Wow, anger towards someone wanting to intentionally spread the virus, I should have guessed, means I have difficulty coming to grips with my own diagnosis!

   Jon you have used that excuse before and to tell you the truth that saddens me.....   Am I angry at the person who gave me the life long present?  Yes I am, I would be lying if I said otherwise.  This has nothing to do with my accepting my responsibility...   Accepting responsibility does not mean I will be at his house eating dinner with him...

  Hey you two can have the opinion that she should be back out there screwing who she wants and looking for the guys who will not use protection...  I'll keep mine and think she got what she deserved...

  Roberts article now.....  I am on your side of the fence on that....

  Thomas....

  It's been 9 months since my diagnosis by the way....  Am I a veteran yet?
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2006, 03:50:52 AM »
Hey Robert,

I'm not shocked by the results.  I figured it was only a matter of time before these cases became civil matters.  Not only because of the ability to receive monetary damages, but also because generally civil matters have a lower threshold proof.  The dissenter opinions were spot on, especially this bit...
Quote
Another dissenting justice, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, said the ruling creates the prospect that anyone could be "drawn into intrusive litigation ... whenever a former partner, or that partner's subsequent partner, contracts a sexually transmitted disease.''
This case only applied to those in monogamous relationships (or marriage), but it's only a matter of time before the courts apply a similar ruling to other sexual relationships.

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2006, 04:35:55 AM »
Having reflected on this thread and all the others linked to the same theme I wish to add something to modify/clarify my previous comments above:

I agree that both people entering sexual relations together have a responsibility to themselves and their own health and well being. I also think there are different levels of responsibility depending on the circumstances of the sexual relations – ie if it is a long term relationship, the startings of a relationship or a one night stand.

But whatever the case, I still think that a person living with hiv has more responsibility because they have more information and they know that that extra piece of information could mean the difference between having a relationship and not having a relationship OR getting laid and not getting laid. And in the end, thats what non-disclosure usually comes down to: fear or rejection. But that's not a valid reason for non-disclosure or lying about ones status.

The crux of the matter is this: that people living with hiv know the power of that extra bit of information, otherwise disclosure would not be such a difficult thing for them to face. But like it or not, they now have that extra bit of information that can make all the difference to the next step in their sexual relations, hence they also have that extra bit of responsibility.

Whether I like it or not, being hiv positive has lumped me with more responsibility than whoever I engage with when it comes down to sex because I have that extra bit of information that could make the difference. Do I hate that? Of course I do. I despise anything and everything to do with having this f**king disease and how I got it. But I have had to accept that as part of this wonderful package deal.

My first knee-jerk reaction when I first saw this story on the UK news was: "Burn in hell bitch!"
But admittedly, it is difficult for me to be objective when it comes down to this particular issue, plus I have a tendency to react to things according to my mood of the day/moment. I was mid the worst of my shingles at the time and just out of hospital!

However, something that Jonathan said on here struck a chord in me (although not in the way that you possibly intended, Jonathan):
What boggles my mind is that we, as persons living with an illness characterized by such a stigma, would be so fast to pass judgment on a stranger.
When I read this I found myself thinking its not because I am a person living with hiv that I feel I shouldn't be passing judgement on a stranger, in this case Sarah Jane Porter. On reflection I guess I actually feel unjustified passing judgement because I was not directly involved.

To be completely honest, and I know how selfish this will sound, but I realised yesterday that I don't actually give a shit about Sarah Jane Porter or what she did or didn't do. That’s because I don't know exactly what she did or didn't do and no-one ever really will except for Sarah Jane Porter, the men she was involved with and maybe a few select few in both their lives. What happened to her is not my life or my story, so I will never know enough true facts or be in a position to be able to pass any just or objective comments on the matter, especially with only the likes of the media in this day and age to rely on for reports and given my own personal situation.

However what I do care about and can pass comment on is what happened to me. That is my life, my story. I know the facts, my ex knows the facts and so do a few select few who were also unwittingly along for the ride at the time. Just like I wouldn't appreciate or take any notice of anybody who was not involved in my life at the time passing judgement on my life and my choices, I don't feel in any position to pass judgement on this issue.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: although I agree with the principles behind criminal prosecution for deliberate or reckless hiv transmission when a person knows their positive status, I don't feel it is my place to pass judgement on anyone's situation but my own, so I guess I must agree with the principles based on my own experience. Everyone has their own story to tell and everyone’s story is unique to them. The only people who will ever know the truth about their story are the people directly involved and its up to them (and only them) what they do with that truth.

Melia
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Offline newt

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2006, 05:22:29 AM »
Melia, thank you for an intelligent and heartfelt post
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 11:02:47 AM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2006, 10:41:30 AM »
To be completely honest, and I know how selfish this will sound, but I realised yesterday that I don't actually give a shit about Sarah Jane Porter or what she did or didn't do. That’s because I don't know exactly what she did or didn't do and no-one ever really will except for Sarah Jane Porter, the men she was involved with and maybe a few select few in both their lives. What happened to her is not my life or my story, so I will never know enough true facts or be in a position to be able to pass any just or objective comments on the matter, especially with only the likes of the media in this day and age to rely on for reports and given my own personal situation. 

oooh, LUV this ..... thank you ...I have to echo your sentiment because it's so liberating. I hereby declare that I don't give one rat's rear about Sarah Jane Porter either

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2006, 11:01:52 AM »
So here's a question.

What if it were one of us? What if, say, matty got arrested after one (or more) of his former bed-mates accused him of deliberately infecting them?

In several threads here, several long-term aidsmeds.com members have discussed not always dislosing.  Removing this stranger from the equation, and substituting a familiar face, would that alter anyone's opinions regarding the laws and their application?

If it happened to Matty? Or Bailey? If it happened to Lisa? or Zephyr? Trish?

It's rather easy to paint a stranger's entirety of character with a broad brush. Is it so easy to turn that white-hot rage on someone with whom you have shared secrets, shared pain, shared a community?

Or should those of us without perfect disclosure histories think VERY carefully about what we send to this message forum, lest we be turned in by a fellow forum member?

At what point are people "us," and worthy of at least the attempt to understand their behavior, and at what point are they simply scape-goats for our fear and anger and disgust?

Had Sarah Jane Porter been a contributing member of this board for a couple of months or years, would it have made a difference?

What bothers me most is not the notion of culpability. What bothers me is that it's application seems terribly arbitrary, and the laws *as written* are widely different from place to place, and often have zero basis in current HIV transmission science. And once accused, a person's privacy is forever shattered. I imagine people would be utterly destroyed, regardless of the outcome in a trial setting.

I don't give a rat's arse about Sarah Jane Porter. But I am rather fond of my liberties, and those of my friends.

I suppose a lot of intentional infections could be thwarted if there were mandatory HIV tests, and those who tested positive were photographed and placed in a global, searchable database. Here in the USA we are already moving away from anonymous testing, as funding and HIV surveilance reports are tied into names reporting. I daresay that almost all of us with HIv are in SOME national database, probably several.

And I know, I know. If we don't do anything wrong, we should have nothing to worry about, right? I hear that a lot whenever people discuss trading their privacy for a measure of security. Given the stigma surrounding HIV that still exists, I submit that the only wrong many of us need to have done is acquire a pathogen.

I don't give a rat's arse about Sarah Jane Porter. I am way too selfish for that. I see these laws as a direct threat to my own life, such as it is.



"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2006, 11:04:00 AM »
<<However, something that Jonathan said on here struck a chord in me (although not in the way that you possibly intended, Jonathan):>>

Melia, that was precisely what I intended.

:)

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline AC_72

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2006, 01:20:45 PM »
Well....I would like to thank Sara Jane Porter!  Thank her for the thought provoking discussions here.  I think we all agree that this is an unfortunate situation - which would be made worse by replacing Sara by one of our friends.

My thoughts (hopes) are that if Sara had been part of this support forum (as I see it) that she would have gotten a great deal of advise, knowledge, support and friendship that would have kept her from allegedly (to be fair) committing the described acts.

Melia - Great response, much appreciated!
Jonathan - I also understand and agree with the fear of losing liberties and persecution.  I cross my fingers that it never come down to a sexual-predator-like database.

Call me an optimist, but I think strings like these are a great way to explore our own feelings, discuss each others' opinions, and possibly have take-aways that we can use to guide how future such situations/rulings/laws/personal actions for the betterment of this disease.

Cheers, and Happy 4th!  ;)

Infected:  Feb 2006
Diagnosed:  May 2006
05/02/06:  332,  >500,000 VL
06/22/06:  338,  >500,000 VL
--------><-------
12/01/07:  w/meds <75 VL

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2006, 01:59:00 PM »



   A great discussion it was.  For those who take it personally... well I don't know what to say.  I may be stubborn and close minded.  My views are my views, I cannot conform just to appease people.  It has nothing to do with my own status ( as some have suggested).   A pure cop out to me!

  A wrong is a wrong...  For the gentleman that sent me the private PM's threatening to disclose my past ( which we chatted about in confidence mind you), be my guest!   I did my time and yes Rasheen does know about it...  She knew of it before you did my friend....   I'll stop here and allow you to tell the rest..... I deserved it, no arguement from me there.... 

   The difference between me and this woman was I was 17 and stupid, she's 43... and knows better, if the overwhelming allegations are true (just to be fair).  She also pleaded guilty....hmmmm just like me!  They didn't let me go.......

   Thomas Holier Than Thou
(This was the name given to me by my Pm friend)
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2006, 03:20:09 PM »
Thomas,

whomever sent you private messages threatening to disclose your past needs to read my rant in the Clinical Trials forum. Hurtful cowards and bullies have no place here.

I hope you forwarded those PMs to the moderator. Won't do them any good to make up a new name, as long as the ISP is traced :). Just saying.

"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."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2006, 03:33:15 PM »
Melia, that was precisely what I intended.
Oh...hell, I'm just too pretty sometimes!
Well in that case, job well done Jonathan!

:D
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(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline David_CA

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2006, 10:53:16 PM »
I ask because I notice, have always noticed, a rift between the recently infected/impacted and those who have carried the virus, or carried it's impact with them for decades. Part of that rift is the notion of victimization, of blame, and of responsibility. Another part seems to be an apathy towards activism until financial/social/medical services are directly threatened.

I don't know about other recently infected/diagnosed people.  I was diagnosed back in March, so I'm definitely  new to all of  this.  I do know that I'm not angry with whoever infected me.  I am still a bit angry with the one who allowed the infection to take place - me.  I chose to do the things that I did.   I didn't know as much about transmission as I do now, but I knew enough to wear a condom, which I didn't always do.  I'm to blame for it.  Period.

Thomas, I don't think anybody is saying that this woman did a good thing.  I don't think anybody is saying that she is innocent (assuming the facts are actually facts).  I think what's being said is that the courts are taking the responsibility of safer sex away from the ones most likely to be impacted by HIV exposure (those who are HIV negative).  I guess it's like saying that you don't need to lock your doors; we'll prosecute those who break in.  We already do prosecute, and we still have burglars.  In NC, we have to wear seatbelts; we don't get to decide if we want to or not.  It's the law.  It's the best way to prevent serious injury or death in the event of an auto accident.  If people were sensible about wearing condoms, we wouldn't really have a need to prosecute these cases.

David (who thinks that if people were sensible about wearing condoms, we wouldn't really have a need to prosecute these cases)
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
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Offline miztaken

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2006, 12:36:24 AM »
i feel if you know you no who infected you you should by all means let him/her know that you know so that they will feel the guilt and and think before destroying some elses life but then again they mat not care and have so much hate in thier heart they just wouldnt care. so never put your gaurd down that is my motto look for the test paper that is your rite to be safe :'(
caint get enuff of life
                               mz watson

Offline Jake72

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2006, 01:10:15 AM »
We are not talking person steps out into the street and gets his by drunk driver here.

Actually, following this logic, it is, in a way, the same thing.  Most of us know that drunk drivers do exist and do periodically cause death and destruction on our roads.  By stepping out into a street or driving down a highway, we are knowingly exposing ourselves to a situation where there is a chance-however remote-that we may be hit by a drunk driver.  Our option could have been staying at home, locking ourselves up.  But we chose to go out into the world.

Of course we should be responsible and acknowledge this responsibility.  Of course we should take precautions, even though no precaution is always 100% effective (Obviously, CONDOMS ARE BETTER THAN NO CONDOMS, but use of a condom is not a foolproof guarantee against something going awry). 

Life, however, is full of risks.  If we step on an airplane, we often wonder 'what if it crashes?'  If it does crash, is our fate our own fault because we knew what could have possibly happened and didn't take precautions (such as taking a train). 

Most of us who are HIV+ didn't go out looking for HIV.  Most of us who consented to sex didn't consent to getting HIV.  Okay, fine, we should have done something different-used
(more effective) protection, been at a different place at that time, etc.  But as the old cliche goes, hindsight is 20/20.  To sit around now, pointing fingers and saying 'you're responsible for your own infection' is a bit counterproductive.

Also, anger is a natural emotion that results when we're frustrated, when someone wrongs us, or when we wrong ourselves.  I fully accept my role in my own infection, and I'm moving forward with my life, pursuing my goals cheerfully.  But down deep, I can't help but feel some anger when I think of how I was infected and, especially, how my trust was betrayed.  Yes, I should have known that my trust could have been betrayed when I decided to trust another human being (and believe me, once bitten, I'm now twice shy).  But thinking of the violation of that trust still makes me rather angry.  If that makes me less of a human being, fine.  I'm less of a human being.     

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Woman jailed for infecting lover with HIV......
« Reply #39 on: July 06, 2006, 02:10:18 AM »


Jake,

   Very well said.... 

 
 I don't feel the person who infected me should necessarily be in prison or anything.    I do however, dislike this guy.  I think he's a bad person to put it lightly.  I think it would have been pretty cool if he would have said," Hey man, I'm HIV positive.  Have been for 9 yrs.  There's no way I am going without protection."   That would be a perfect world though...  not very realistic on my part I know, I never thought it was actually.  It would have just been cool.
 
  Jonathan,

  I do see your points in retrospect when it comes to what's going on in California.   You are right when you say that this is a result from cases like the Sarah Jane Porter case...  It is fucked up..  people like you and I will face persecution because of it.

  If she did this with intent, which I think she did, then she is where she belongs.......  Yep this is definitely not a perfect world...  If it was there would be no HIV.

Thomas

I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

 


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