STDs and the Law

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Dino, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Dino

    Dino Member

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    I'm curious. I just watched an Episode of Law & Order: SVU (S11E11) and came across a character who knowingly spread HIV through unprotected sex. I wanna know what the law is in the US about this.

    In South Africa, if you know you have an STD and have unprotected sex you are charged with attempted murder. (I'm not sure if that's based on the "victim's" state of contraction or not...?) But in any case...

    Anyone the wiser?
     
    #1 Dino, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. ninja08hippie

    ninja08hippie Official SF Hugger
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    I'm quite sure there is no law against it. I'm sure it's possible to sue someone if they did it intentionally though.
     
  3. Mittimer

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    There's no set rule to it in the US. Though there have been people prosecuted for "criminal transmission".

    The only issue is there needs to be proof that the carrier knowingly spread the disease without confiding in the victim first.
     
  4. backcheck64

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    It varies by state...a few prosicutions though. Burden of proof of knowingly transmitting the disease is the problem. So glad I'm married, I don't have to worry about it.
     
  5. boobjob

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    This is the stuff of law school criminal law classes. In English common law (adopted by the US and most english speaking countries) the elements of murder are 1 The unlawful (simply means not within the boundries of the law such as an execution or enemy soldiers at war), 2 killing 3 of a human being 4 with malice aforethought. This is the element is commonly referred to as intent.

    Most jurisdictions have adopted these elements by statute. So the answer is yes if someone has the neccessary intent to kill by spreading a fatal disease they can be guilty of murder. As a practical matter proving that intent, especially since communication of the disease is not a certainty is difficult to prove.

    Also The US actually has 50 different jurisdictions that all may have different laws. 51 if you count federal law with jurisdiction over the district of columbia other territories and indian reservations. So answering your question specifically would take lots of research.
     
  6. Dino

    Dino Member

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    Cool. Thanks guys.
     
  7. 1hotmamma420

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    Not sure about a law but morally I think you should tell if you have one. How could one live with guilt knowing they had something (serious or not) and not tell their partner??
     
  8. MILF_Rider

    MILF_Rider Member

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    It's more complicated than what you might gather from watching TV shows. I was on a jury trial in Indiana for a murder charge. Really there will be variability on how a charge is defined depending on the state you're in, but there are most likely cases where intent might not be necessary because there may be negligent homicide charges or reckless endangerment charges a prosecutor could pursue.

    I would think that it could be trickier because HIV is a disease that is not as quick to lead to death as it was in the past.
     
  9. allforjulie

    allforjulie Member

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    In Australia there are laws against knowingly infecting someone with HIV. There have been a number of prosecutions here as well civil remedies. For those who can't afford lawyers there is a victims compensation scheme in all states and Territories that has a limit of $50000.00 . The government pays a fixed sum to the lawyer and they can charge no fees to the victims/clients
     
  10. Aspen

    Aspen New Member

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    It is illegal to knowingly transmit HIV and AIDS. As for other STDs I do not know.