Should it be Illegal to not disclose STDs?

There is a man in Pennsylvania who is going to be charged with a criminal act for having someone perform oral sex on them while he knowingly was HIV positive (story here). While I find it reprehensible that someone would do such a thing I still wonder if this case will set a dangerous precedent.

Fist off, this case could easily be extended to include other STDs since they are potentially life threatening as well. Secondly, will all sex acts now be classified depending on their risk to others? What about kissing? Is that the same as oral sex? Is it different if its man to woman? woman to man? woman to woman? man to man?

I have a hard time understanding the law and that’s part of the reason I never became a lawyer. In my world everything follows some logic and can be objectively tied to everything else. I am fully aware that even the most objective things can be subjectively broken down : what defines an Apple? What is gender? How do we define a color? But at least in my world things are relatively objectively defined.

In the law, that’s far from the case. Everything is subject to some interpretation and it’s up to you as a lawyer to argue that your definition is more correct than your opponent. I suppose because I can see these distinctions I would actually be a wonderful lawyer but I really couldn’t morally accept the fact that I was manipulating things and in a sense cheating.

I don’t know if this guy should go to jail for what he did. To me on the surface what he did was wrong but I’m not sure that it was criminal. I don’t know what the odds are that you could transmit an STD to someone orally. I don’t know (and nobody could know) that the victim here wasn’t HIV positive already and should have disclosed that as well. I don’t know that the underlying law was meant to be interpreted this way. I don’t know what this precedent will do in the future. What do you all think?

One thought on “Should it be Illegal to not disclose STDs?

  1. This is so tough…morally, it’s wrong…but you’re so right…there are so many other factors that come into play.
    I was sexually active with a guy who had herpes once. He failed to tell me he had them. I found out by accident. I was so pissed. He said he was ashamed and scared to tell me. Luckily, I never contracted them. It never crossed my mind that what he did was criminal, just morally reprehensible. This could get really sticky. People will just start suing people left and right if they contract an STD…and as you stated, how can it be proven that the person who gave it to you was or was not aware they were infected?


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