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    Ok. I have a hypothetical one for you all:

    What would you do if:

    You knew that a person had hepatitis, HIV, or something of similar consequence… and that person was now “intimate” with another person (and was unprotected while being intimate)… but that other person had no idea that their partner had this disease? What if you had counselled the infected person to tell their partner, but they did not, and did not even plan on telling that person?

    To me, this is almost the same as murder. Or, at least, attempted murder.

    What do you think, and what would you do?


    You need to tell this person face-to-face.  You need to ask them to take a home AIDS test or go to the doctor together with their new partner.

    It’s constructive, immediate and fair. 

    Horrible dilemna – I hope it isn’t real for you – but just a question for us. 

    I had to do this for a friend a couple decades ago – but it was Herpes.  I didn’t have absolute proof – but heard about it on pretty good authority. 

    My friend did acquire Herpes from the person.  It’s effected the rest of her life.  If it’s deadly – yes the more so – they must see to it immediately.

    – Asta Sophi


    I’m fairly certain such a thing is actually considered illegal – certainly so in this country, because it’s acting to deliberately infect someone with a potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorder.

    Silver Talon

    Working for the police department at a college, I was taught to press charges if anyone so much as spit at me because of the prevalence of communicable diseases. If the person was found to have something like HIV or AIDS it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon (or so the instructor said).

    I have heard of HIV infected people being arrested and charged for having unprotected one-night stands. In the United States is it a crime. I would approach the situation very carefully, telling the ‘victim’ what I knew and offering to support that person as they get tested and counseling; leaving it up to that person as to whether they should press charges or not. I believe professional counseling of some sort would be important because I know I would develop some very serious trust issues no matter if I tested positive or not and if the tests were positive it would be a major life changing event.

    My perspective is that it would be the third parties (my) responsibility to alert the infected person’s partner.


    There was a criminal case in the news here in Australia recently, a man with AIDs had, so it seemed, delibrately had sexual relations with several women and not told him. He was brought up on assualt charges but I think that the case was ultimately dismissed, or the charges were dropped, I don’t remember exactly which one.

    Pretty disappointing isn’t it?

    As a health professional, this would be a very tricky issue for me as I’m bound by privacy laws as well as ethical considerations. What I would do in the first instance is contact my professional association (ATMS) for advice in the matter, as they keep up with the latest in legal changes etc, and if I was later reported for breach of privacy such an action would help. Then I would be acting on the professional organisations advice. I am not legally allowed to report problems to a doctor without a clients permission.

    If I was operating in the consideration of a private individual, i.e. with regards to someone who is not a client of mine, I would probably still ask the ATMS for advice (in some respects you’re never a private individual when you are a health professional) and would also ask for advice from the police. As long as names are named then there is no breach of privacy.


    I say, no matter the law, tell them.  Because, the law won’t matter when they end up with aids.  And it is illegal and has been charged as attempted murder in the US, which means you could realistically report them.  If you want to be sensitive to the situation, you could suggest they start using protection immediately and go get a full std panel, but it’s probably easier to just outright say it. 

    I’ve seen what aids scares do to people who don’t realize what they were exposed to.  The sooner they know, the better.


    Thanks, everyone, for those thoughts. This was a real situation for me. I chose to tell the person involved that either they could tell their partner the truth, or I would do it for them. They did tell their partner. This happened before I asked you guys, but it was bothering me. I find it hard to believe that a person could be so selfish, out of this really strong fear of being alone in this life. That was their reason, anyway. So, thanks, yall.

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