Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Should it be illegal to not disclose your HIV status before having sex with a partner?

Asked by Demosthenes (12197points) October 11th, 2019

It is illegal in more than half of American states, but Pete Buttigieg and other Democratic candidates have spoken out against the policy, saying that it’s “antiquated” since with modern medicine, not all forms of HIV are transmittable, and that it unfairly stigmatizes individuals who are HIV-positive. What do you think? Would you want to know if your partner was HIV positive? Should it be illegal to not disclose HIV and other STDs?

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27 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

I believe so, as everyone involved should know what they are dealing with and take precautions.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

More than half people who are HIV positive have an undetectable viral load because of the effective medicine they take. Individuals with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the virus.

I do not think that individuals who live with HIV should be required by law to disclose their status.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I would want to know of any STDs. I view failure to disclose as a form of assault.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with you @ARE_you_kidding_me. That includes herpes, too.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dutchess_III or HPV even if it’s known.

johnpowell's avatar

Disclose or pay my medical bills if I get something.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am a need to know kinda girl, and before anything comes off, I need to know.

Keep stuff from mother, the cops, your clergy, but when it comes to a partner get over yourself and have that discussion.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Illegal or not it wouldn’t stop some from lying and one night stands are not known for getting a doctor’s note before engaging in sex.
There was this guy: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/hairdresser-daryll-rowe-given-life-sentence-for-deliberately-infecting-men-with-hiv

JLeslie's avatar

I remember there was a lawsuit where someone sued and won because she accused her boyfriend (I am not even sure if it was a bf) of giving her HPV. I was completely against that lawsuit, I don’t know if the judgement was overturned.

HIV is a little different, seeing that it can be so deadly, and the medication maybe is lifelong? I don’t know how the new meds work.

I’m not sure what I think. I think if asked directly the person should have to tell the truth. Whether to make that a law?

snowberry's avatar

I had a friend whose husband cheated on her and gave her a whopping case of genital warts. After she divorced him, she discovered it had turned cancerous. “He gave me cancer, and now I can’t have any more children!”

I’m certain she’d have loved to sue him, but it wasn’t even a possibility. The question of litigation for HIV partners raises lots of new questions for other STD’s.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry That’s horrible. I hope your friend was able to remove the cancer and is ok.

Did the husband know he had warts? Most men have no idea they are passing it on.

The percentage of women who have have been exposed to HPV in our generation is huge. It’s estimated at 80%.

seawulf575's avatar

It really comes down to personal responsibility. People think they are mature enough to have sex, but are too immature to practice safe sex or tell their partners of STDs they might have. And the partners are really no better.
But you also have to look at what the laws are. There were cases in the past of people that knowing they were HIV positive, purposely went about trying to infect others. These cases were really the basis for criminal transmission laws. In cases like these, I would say that is a criminal act, though again, there is some responsibility on the part of the partner.

janbb's avatar

I think it is more of a moral issue than a legal one.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie I have no idea. She sort of lost her mind after that. I lost contact with her many years ago.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry Very sad. Hopefully, she bounced back psychologically if all the cancer was cleared. A lot of women have no idea that most women are positive for HPV sometime in their life. I know women who hear a precancerous diagnosis and feel and believe they had cancer. Don’t get me wrong, cervical cancer is serious, too many women die from it, but often doctors can remove it and everything is ok.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…her boyfriend… of giving her HPV.” I was completely against that lawsuit…” Why were you against it? I mean, the very next comment is from @snowberry, describing the toll HPV took on her friend’s life….and you still don’t retract your statement?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III 80% of the population has been exposed to HPV. Setting a precedent that people can sue for HPV infection is almost like suing someone for giving you the flu.

Most likely her husband had no idea he had it. In the lawsuit I guess the guy knew.

Plus, it’s almost impossible to prove where the infection came from; if it’s a new partner or past one, although I’d be pretty sure it was from the cheating, but it’s almost impossible to prove. The virus can lay dormant.

All of your friends who have had a bad Pap smear were infected by a boyfriend or husband.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. Well. OK.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll add, knowingly transmitting might be the difference for me. Like I said in my first answer, I’m not sure what I think about the HIV and if someone knows about other STD’s. HIV is lethal with no simple way to fix it. Medication sure, but the meds Can have side effects.

I bet women and men give oral sex all the time without disclosing they get “fever blisters” on their mouth from time to time. They can pass that to the genitals. What about suing them? If nothing happens and the receiver doesn’t get infected, but the person knew they have had a herpetic outbreak before can they be sued? Or, only if the receiver gets sick? That’s another tough one to prove too.

Sex is dangerous.

I wouldn’t mind a law against a cheating spouse risking the life and health of their spouse. In marriage a spouse works on the premise that they are sexually safe.

snowberry's avatar

I have a friend whose preschool child was raped and she contracted genital warts as a result. She was too young to be able to handle the medication they usually give to adults for venereal warts, so she just had to deal. It was a nightmare.

The court made her rapist pay for her medical needs and counseling for years (I think until she turned 18). This was in Utah.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Your info on HIV and meds is out of date, Modern meds reduce viral loads to zero, HIV is not lethal anymore.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@zenvelo It still requires expensive life-long medication costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

zenvelo's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Anti retroviral medications run about $10,000 per year in the US, about $100 per year in Africa. Go figure.

JLeslie's avatar

I said side effects. Right now I’m worried about my kidneys, looks like a medication damaged mine. If those HIV drugs abuse the kidneys it could possibly shorten someone’s life. That’s probably partly what killed auggie, she needed pain meds and her kidney function was already diminishing. She has written here that she chose the meds knowing the damage it was causing.

Another friend of ours (We all went to school together) died from kidney failure just before Auggie, kidney failure and liver damage. She had been an alcoholic, but alcohol, medication, same shit if it is killing your organs. They were both 51 when they died.

What if you’re allergic to the drugs?

Let alone if it’s something as serious as HIV, although it’s great that now they have such good medication for it.

Plus, the cost og the drugs as others mentioned.

si3tech's avatar

It should be illegal not to disclose a positive HIV status.

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