Dishonorable discharge, 8 yrs in prison, for HIV+ Air Force sergeant who lied to sex partners

My first instinct is to hang the man for what he did to all those women (and possibly men). I just find it despicable, if you have any contagious life-threatening disease (hell, I’d add STDs in there too), and you sleep around and don’t tell your 500 partners – and then to top it off, you lie about it when asked about your status. Now, there are valid concerns about furthering the stigma around AIDS, about creating a climate in which people are afraid to seek medical help. But still. You are literally putting people’s lives at risk. I just am finding it very hard to have pity on this man. How about you?

AFP:

An HIV positive US Air Force sergeant who engaged in spouse-swapping swingers parties was sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in military prison for failing to tell those partners about his condition.

Sergeant David Gutierrez, 43, also will be dishonourably discharged after serving his prison term, which strips him of benefits he’ll need to pay for medication when released.

This begs the larger question: Is it your duty to “tell” potential sex partners when you have such a disease? If they don’t ask, does that get you off the hook? (Though, in this case, he’s alleged to have lied about his status.) It’s not entirely clear to me, from the various stories on this out there, whether or not he used a condom. If he did, does that get him off the hook for lying and/or for not disclosing his status?

And finally, there’s another issue here. With the conviction, he loses his military medical benefits, needed to treat his HIV. Having said that, I’m thinking he’ll receive medical treatment in prison, and the health care reform bill passed last year makes it so that insurers can’t turn you down for HIV (it’s still unclear to me whether HRC, either now, or once its fully implemented, would fix this kind of problem). The counter-argument, used by the military’s lawyers, was this man wasn’t worried about the medical costs of the women he was lying to. Does this fact change your mind any?

I’m curious what you guys think.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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