Should Repeat HIV Spreaders Be Punished?

I was reading up on the BBC debate on the death penalty for homosexuals in Uganda and found this post:

I vaguely agree with in theory although this law doesn’t need to implemented in the US, in South Africa and other African nations where up to 1/3 of the population has AIDS/HIV and rapes are common perhaps these laws are needed.

In the case of Philippe Padieu, AIDS was likened to a deadly weapon. He got 45 years in an American court for infecting at least six women, which basically amounts to a life sentence. I think that was appropriate. Though the sex was consensual, his partners did not have all the information they needed to make that decision, and he did. He saw himself as a lover, but I don’t doubt there was something deeply malicious in his actions (rather than just, say, embarrassment, or the knowledge that he could have fewer consensual partners if he were open about his HIV status).

ETA I’m not sure why these laws would be more needed in other countries. American rape statistics aren’t exactly civilized, and they have access to free clinics and AIDS tests (though, as mentioned in the linked article, there is still a reluctance on people’s and doctor’s parts to accept that ‘nice,’ older, middle-class straight white people can have AIDS).

Wasn’t this an episode of Law & Order? (Only one girl was driven to suicide when she found out)

At this point, everything short of aggravated goldfish swallowing has been an episode of Law & Order.

They’re saving that for sweeps.

If someone has HIV and knowingly spreads it to someone else they should be charged with premeditated murder.

IMO, only if they are infecting others by force or outright fraud (i.e. forging their test results). If they are doing it by deceptive omission, they are morally reprehensible but not, IMO, commiting a felony crime.

The onus is on *both *parties to be certain of their partner before doing the nasty (see: recent transexual threads). An AIDS test costs $2.50 and takes 30 mins nowadays. If you can’t go with someone to be tested together, and hear the results together, should you really be sleeping with them?

How can you tell the difference, though? I mean, for the person being infected by someone who knows they have HIV, is there a meaningful difference between the infecter being embarrassed and being malicious?

Define repeat HIV spreaders. I do think that those bug chasers need to be dealt with…
It is quite frustrating…on one hand " live and let live" On the other hand, they are spreading a VERY expensive disease.I wish there was a way we could put the people who are VERY irresponsibly spreading the disease in some sort of hospital. It has been almost thirty years since HIV became a name…it really shouldn’t be THAT hard to avoid getting HIV!
I’m not advocating putting everyone with it in prison camps or anything…but it does seem like there.s a significent minority that is really screwing things up and spreading an VERY expensive disease.

Yes, but how did this thread get onto cigarette companies and tobacco farmers?

Dude, it’s called “reckless endangerment to human life/depraved indifference” which is a felony crime.

I wonder if you would be so liberal and forgiving if you or a female who is significant in your life had that happen to them.

The definition of a Republican is a Democrat that’s been mugged.

The “repeat” is not the crucial point, the wilful and knowing is what is important. A person that knowingly infect another person also if only once, or put another person in danger of being infected should be prosecuted the same as murder. And especially in places where AIDS still spell death. Or perhaps prosecuted after a statue that carries a harsher sentence than murder, since infecting a person risks infecting additional persons.

Here’s Sweden going boinkers:

‘Decriminalize spread of HIV’: agency

…and highly subjective. I said it wasn’t a felony crime TO ME. Did you see the big fat “IMO” I put there?

Dude, I’m South African. I’ve lost count of how many friends & relatives I have who have HIV (OK, it’s 7 surviving, around 20 dead from AIDS that I know of). And I’ve never heard any of my friends try to shift their share of responsibility in getting infected.

And what’s this “female” crap - you think guys can’t get it done to them?

What is this complete non sequitur got to do with me?

A way of claiming “if it happened to you or yours, you’d agree with me!” Under analogy to the theory that Democrats are all coddled and “soft on crime” and would turn to the “tough” Republicans if they were attacked by a criminal. Nonsense of course.

Maybe rape should be punished by death.

Completely agree - though to be clear it should be stated that the rapist should be sentenced to death. Seems quite obvious, but it seems like there are some crazy people out there who may need it clarified.

I imagine someone who was hiding it or in denial would at least insist on protection, and I suppose want to reveal their status to anyone they enter into a relationship with. I remember seeing a special on this guy and it really seemed like his mission wasn’t just to continue being a casanova despite having AIDS, it was to pass it on to as many women as possible. This is a bit sick, but perhaps there’s some twisted logic in there, to him – the more people infected with AIDS (especially ‘nice’ middle-class straight women), the better company he’s in. Still Wild ass speculation, but maybe he thought he was being (or would be) judged for his status, and this was his way to nip it in the bud, or ‘get back’ at women who would potentially reject him or look down at him.

The downside of criminalizing knowingly spreading AIDS is that it may contribute to further stigmatization of infected people. On the plus side, a life sentence seems fair for giving someone else a deaths sentence.

Naturally there are grey areas – What are reasonable risks to assume when having sex? What information is one required to give a sex partner, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a husband or wife? Is it reasonable to expect everyone to visit the STD clinic, wait for the results, get a second AIDS test then wait another few months before engaging in intercourse (or even oral sex) with a new partner?

Not sure how the cases turned out, but several celebrities and one scholastic institution have been sued for giving people herpes (common but incurable).

I’ll come close but not quite agree with you. If the act is sex or anything else, and I have knowledge that you need to make an informed consent to something, something that could cause your very death, I should have both a legal and moral obligation to inform you. Many (most?) countries are different but in the United States that is almost a “given”. It’s one of the reasons we have so many warning labels and release forms.

"‘Decriminalize spread of HIV’: agency

A Swedish government agency is refusing to assist the police in an ongoing investigation concerning a person suspected of infecting a woman with HIV.

Under current legislation, a person with HIV risks spending one to ten years in jail on assault charges if he or she knowingly has unprotected sex with another person."

If the Swedish law really is as this reads, I’m liking it a lot less than MrDibble’s position. If my partner is HIV positive and I know that ------ and knowing that, I continue to have unprotected sex with him/her, that should not be a crime.

I’m not opposed to stiff penalties for this behaviour, but so far as I know an essential element of murder is that someone is dead.

There’s no difference in knowingly spreading HIV and knowingly causing cancer, anthrax, or other “always serious and potentially fatal” illnesses. Of course they should be punished. They should be confined where they can do no harm; I have no problem with them being held there for life if they knew what they were doing.

This is really straying into another discussion altogether, but there’s a good reason that rape shouldn’t be punished by death: you’ll end up with more rapists killing their victims because a dead rape victim can’t be a witness.