A man in Minnesota has been charged with willfully spreading HIV. According to the story and video clip, the man had sex with multiple partners, did not disclose his status, and at least one person has tested positive. In the cases in the video clipped, the man is NOT charged with rape, though I have heard from a friend of mine that he is charged with sexual assault from an earlier incident in February. While I am not going to comment on this man's guilt or innocence, I sure as hell am going to comment on the situation. The following blog post may seem a little disjointed, as I co
Did you listen to the story? Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, needs to check his facts. He said, "The man didn't have it [HIV] before, and a month later he did." Ummmm....any doctor will tell you that it takes, in general, a minimum of 3 months to have built up enough antibodies to detect HIV. Which means that the "victim" was having unprotected sex with more than just the accused.
Also, if the men were having unprotected sex with this guy and NOT asking his status, and there is no evidence that the dude lied, then it is not a leap to believe that they had unprotected sex with other men. How do they KNOW that this is the guy that transmitted HIV to them? Where the fuck is the responsibility on their end? Why is the blame/shame/burden always on the positive individual?
Also, were there drugs involved? I am going to go ahead and say most fucking likely. Regardless of the outcome, the accused's life is ruined.
As an HIV+ man that has struggled in the past with drug addiction, I can tell you that almost 99% of the time no one was asking anyone else about their HIV status when crystal meth was involved.
If you choose to have bareback sex then you CHOOSE the risk of contracting HIV. That choice is on you, the burden is on you, and the responsibility for the action is on YOU. Unless you can prove that you were RAPED or the sex was not consensual in some other way, the burden is on you. It was your choice to believe the man or to trust the man with your life, and now that you found out you made the wrong choice, you are going to lay the burden on someone else? BULLSHIT.
I am not perfect, but this case is more than just about the one dude (I hear that he is also charged with rape...that is another story all together)...but the precedent this will set if he is convicted on the spreading HIV charge as opposed to a rape charge is going to create such an overwhelming fear in positive people and a justified one...what if you don't disclose your status, you are having protected sex, and the condom breaks? Are you then a felon? What if you honestly believe you are HIV-, have unprotected sex, and then you find out you are after having infected someone else? Even your partner? Are you a felon? What if you and the party are both engaged in the use of illicit drugs....I am not perfect, and I carried a lot of guilt for a long time for my actions when actively using, but I will be damned if I carry the burden or the HIV+ community should carry the burden for the choices of others. It's just that simple, unfortunately the apparatus of the state and 20 years of fear mongering, gay baiting, and oppression are on the side of the Hennepin County attorney. And let's not forget that Mike Freeman is an elected official. The county attorney office led directly to the Senate for Amy Klobuchar. He is going to sensationalize this case as much as humanly possible to set himself up runs for hire office. The good tough attorney got this diseased predator off the street. What could be sweeter on the campaign trail?
I am curious to see what other cases Mike has made sure got into the paper? What other cases are on his case load? Why this case? Why this incident? I will tell you...H-I-V.
The continued stigmatization and scapegoating of positive people for the actions of negative people is based in shame and fear--the shame of the positive person that leads him or her to not disclose and the shame of the newly positive person that seeks to shed his shame by blaming everyone else for his HIV status except the person responsible: himself.
Let the witch hunts begin.