General Question

Spargett's avatar

What are the legal repurcussions of knowing infecting someone with a disease?

Asked by Spargett (5390points) March 29th, 2008 from iPhone

Say you have AIDS and knowingly have unprotected sex with a partner. What are the legal repurcussions of this? As well as the civil repercussions?

And let’s take it a step further. What if you infect someone with a non-fatal virus or STD? Can they sue?

Interested to hear the responses. I have my own theories.

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41 Answers

lovelyy's avatar

wow i don’t really know what they are but i don’t really think you can do anything but get help for yourself.

Cooldil17's avatar

You cannot sue someone for giving you a disease, and even saying that it was sexually transmitted, than it automatically becomes your fault, your responsibility. Unless you were raped, which is a whole nother story.

The only way, and this is very technical, to sue someone for giving you a disease is if you have proof that they injected you with something or drugged you (“daterape drug”) and forcefully injected you with something (Almost impossible to prove)

But this crosses a lot of legal boundaries so you’d be talking about not necessarily being charged for giving somene a disease but something much greater.

Frankly its all circumstantial.

joeysefika's avatar

Knowing you have AIDS and knowingly giving it to them without telling them you have AIDS is illegal

Cooldil17's avatar

No, no it is not illegal it is merely a civil duty to tell your partner or equal other.

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

it is illegal to knowingly infect someone with HIV/AIDS

i would assume that the same laws would apply for other STD’s

Cooldil17's avatar

Wrong, that case is very cirsumstancial, which I believe I said in my previous statement? Hmmmm

The person who asked the question asked about “partner” not partners. This guy was having sex with a lot of different teenagers since 1996. So obv. he is going to be charged only because he did it to a lot of people because that is endangerment.

But not telling your partner ISN’T illegal! Providing your not promiscuous!

bulbatron9's avatar

Cooldil17, WRONG! I don’t know which rock you’ve been living under, but this is a criminal act.

Criminal transmission of HIV

I believe you owe Patrick an apology, for your uncouth means of communication!

Cooldil17's avatar

WRONG, it says reckless, which can be inferred as being multiple people! Which in this case we are talking about singular! ONE! So wrong again!

Cardinal's avatar

@lovelyy If you don’t know STD and AIDS are, you better learn PDQ (pretty damn quick). Stay away from the guys until you educate yourself.

Cardinal's avatar

And cooldil you are wrong!!!

bulbatron9's avatar

@cooldil17— The wiki link I gave also says intentional, which is knowingly transmitting HIV! You are not a lawyer, and if you were, I wouldn’t hire you to represent my dog! Go play on MySpace!

Cooldil17's avatar

@bulbatron: That is highly debatable and as for your immature myspace comment; Your how old? Exactly

lovelyy's avatar

@cardinal i know what stds and aids are, i just didn’t know the legal repercussions.

bulbatron9's avatar

@Cooldil17— It may be debatable. However, this would require someone with the ability to debate, and not just say WRONG! Show where you’ve received your information, so we at fluther, know your not just fabricating this nonsense in your head.

As far as the MySpace comment, I believe you would be better off there, and not misinforming our collective here! I’m 28, exactly.

spendy's avatar

There are likely legal/civil repurcussions…as we’ve all read in the link provided by Patrick (or SHOULD have read). But there is another very REAL, very VALID side to this debate (which may not truly even BE a debate – either it’s illegal or not): unless you are RAPED by someone with HIV/AIDS or another STD, you are partly to blame. Anyone who has sex and knowingly bypasses the opportunity to protect themself from the UNKNOWN needs their head checked. And while some STDs aren’t even preventable by simply using a condom, we all have the same information and should know better (and if we DON’T have the information, we shouldn’t be engaging in sexual acts to begin with). Your physical health is no more the responsibility of a total stranger than your bank account. Funny…some people actually value their bank account a bit more. The real debate hear should be one of moral obligation, not legal repurcussions – and I don’t believe that would truly be a debate worth while.

mcw's avatar

I’m a court reporter and recently did a deposition about this very issue. KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY spreading HIV in Florida brings a lawsuit. Don’t know where you live cooldil.

Cooldil17's avatar

To Everyone: Sorry for all this, I thought I was right, but now I realize I’m not. Please don’t take my answer to this question as an example as of to how I answer all of the questions.

Thank you

eambos's avatar

I believe that a few years back an HIV positive man was charged with attempted murder when he spit on a police officer during an arrest.

Spargett's avatar

They prob had a hard time with that one considering you can’t transmit AIDS through saliva.

judochop's avatar

There has been several cases attempted to validate and charge someone with Attempted Murder for knowingly spreading the AIDS/HIV virus. There have also been cases for the flu, bird flu, sars, etc… This is not as uncommon as one would think it to be.
@Cooldil: With all do respect my friend, you are wrong. Please know that I am not pointing this out to make you look bad or make myself look good or whatever but you seem so sure of your answer.
You can also be sued for not shoveling your driveway or sidewalk. Say, if I fall while chasing my dog onto your private property in the middle on winter and I break my leg. Say that I am also a leg model. I can sue you for so so so much money.

judochop's avatar

@Eambos: how does that happen? Saliva does not carry the HIV virus.

lovelyy's avatar

i don’t mean this in a harsh way but cooldil said he was wrong.

Cooldil17's avatar

@Judochop: With all do respect I already apologized about all of this what more do you want me to do? I thought I was right but I’m wrong, it happens all the time, I mean I’m only human right?

eambos's avatar

I know that saliva does not transmit the virus, but the man who spit was not educated about his own disease and admitted that his intent was to infect the officer.

judochop's avatar

@Cooldil, yeah my bad brother. To be human is to error. If we did everything right no one would even know we were here.

Riser's avatar

And we never got to hear Spargett’s thoughts. : /

hossman's avatar

In Illinois, if you know you have HIV and have sex with another person, even if that person voluntarily had sex with you and voluntarily took no precautions, if you failed to disclose you were infected with HIV, it is a Class 2 felony called Criminal Transmission of HIV (a bad name, as it is a crime even if the other person was NOT actually infected with HIV):

(720 ILCS 5/12‑16.2) (from Ch. 38, par. 12‑16.2)
Sec. 12‑16.2. Criminal Transmission of HIV. (a) A person commits criminal transmission of HIV when he or she, knowing that he or she is infected with HIV:
(1) engages in intimate contact with another;
(2) transfers, donates, or provides his or her blood, tissue, semen, organs, or other potentially infectious body fluids for transfusion, transplantation, insemination, or other administration to another; or
(3) dispenses, delivers, exchanges, sells, or in any other way transfers to another any nonsterile intravenous or intramuscular drug paraphernalia.
(b) For purposes of this Section:
“HIV” means the human immunodeficiency virus or any other identified causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
“Intimate contact with another” means the exposure of the body of one person to a bodily fluid of another person in a manner that could result in the transmission of HIV.
“Intravenous or intramuscular drug paraphernalia” means any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is peculiar to and marketed for use in injecting a substance into the human body.
(c) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to require that an infection with HIV has occurred in order for a person to have committed criminal transmission of HIV.
(d) It shall be an affirmative defense that the person exposed knew that the infected person was infected with HIV, knew that the action could result in infection with HIV, and consented to the action with that knowledge.
(e) A person who commits criminal transmission of HIV commits a Class 2 felony.
(Source: P.A. 86‑897.)

No intent to actually cause harm is required.

While I was a corrections officer, an inmate who knew he had AIDS intentionally spattered me with blood. He was convicted of Aggravated Battery and Criminal Transmission of HIV, even though I did not contract HIV.

bulbatron9's avatar

@hossman “While I was a corrections officer, an inmate who knew he had AIDS intentionally spattered me with blood. He was convicted of Aggravated Battery and Criminal Transmission of HIV, even though I did not contract HIV.”

I bet that scared the bejeezus out of you! Is that why you say “was a corrections officer”?
I would’ve quit, too!

hossman's avatar

Nope. I quit for other reasons. I didn’t know he had AIDS at the time, as federal law prohibits correctional officers from being told which inmates have HIV and which do not. I did know the probability was higher than in the general populace. I did sweat it out until 3 consecutive tests came back negative.

But blood is one of the least gruesome of the bodily fluids I had flung on me in my brief time with the DOC. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

sinscriven's avatar

I suppose it depends on location. In California, it’s a felony* to knowingly pass diseases without fair disclosure; but the law is so narrow in scope that it’s not really that effective.


billyh19's avatar

would consent from the other person be a criminal defence to this?

scamp's avatar

@billyh19 , why in the world would anyone give consent????

LKidKyle1985's avatar

@billyh19 Yeah, as crazy as it sounds, if the other person claimed they already knew about their partner having aids/hiv, then what could the prosecutor charge anyone under that law? I guess its not a crime to get aids if you want it…. However, it would be interesting to read up on some suicide laws since it is illegal to kill yourself. Maybe they could get charged with that?

BBQsomeCows's avatar



difficulty finding future employment

wilsonsn's avatar

Dear readers there are laws in debate that would allow all parties knowingly passing a disease down to others a even more serious offense. Know it already has years in prison if the culprit admitts to such things. What you can do if you become ill with the disease is to contact family attorney with intent to contact police through the attorny, also confide the name to the attorney and ask for full investigations. You would need the police so to access the persons medical records. Now, if the human is lobotomized you would do the same thing but the charges would be different due to someone being at the control of the person. All in all it is an illegal crime to knowingly spread any disease with full intent of harming others.

progressnow's avatar

We should all just be happy we don’t have it:)

Cozzled's avatar

In the majority of states, exposing someone to a communicable disease can be a felony or misdemeanor. Important factors are whether person knew he/she had the disease and if person intended to expose the other to it. In CA, the relevant statutes are: CA. Health & Safety Codes 120291, 120290, and 1621.5; CA Penal Codes 12022.85 and 647f.

lojda's avatar

joeysefika is wrong:
California – Engaging in uninformed, unprotected sexual activity (exception for consent) with the intent to infect the other person is a felony punishable by up to 8 years in prison.
If the accused had actively deceived their partner, and told them they were negative when they were not, then the prosecution could quite easily argue that the 50:50 balance of responsibility had been taken away, making the accused more liable to prosecution.

lojda's avatar

Oops! I meant cooldil17 was wrong, not joeysefika…

frank702's avatar

Cooldil17,this guy is full of shit! Of course there are penalties for knowingly tranmitting a disease to another person without them having knowledge of your condition. You are recklessly endangering their life and possibly that of their family and friends. Its a pre meditated malicious act and therefore punishable by law and civil law suit..dont take advice from arrogant 17 year old kid who watches too much t.v.

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