What do you do after you get HIV from your partner? There is a constant struggle in a relationship about whether one who should reveal their status to their partner or not. There are moral and legal questions on how one partner can intentionally infect the other with the virus.
HIV infection is still a sensitive topic in today’s society as well as relationships. In the case of one contracting a S.e.xually Transmitted Disease (STD), HIV included, one may be wondering what to do to next together with your partner and if there are any legal repercussions involved. Should be it be a criminal offence or a private matter to be dealt with in the civil courts
Recently, singer Tytan Nkomo revealed on a Youtube video that his ex-wife, socialite Olinda Chapel is HIV positive and that she deceived him about the nature of her status during the course of their marriage.
Tytan says he only discovered her positive status later and was so devastated that he had to take HIV prevention medication and is still testing regularly fearing for his health.
But do people know what to do after getting HIV from their partners? Here are some legal questions and answers that may help you.
Am I Required to Disclose that I Have HIV to My S.e.xual Partner?
Legally no, one has the discretion not to disclose their HIV status to their partner but ethically it is the right thing to do and failure to do so may result in a lawsuit and in some instances criminal charges.
What is the Penalty for Not Disclosing HIV Status to a S.e.xual Partner?
Worst case scenario there is no penalty unless it has been made a legal issue then lawsuits and criminal charges in some instances may results.
Can I Sue My Partner for Failing to Disclose His/Her HIV Status?
While it is possible to sue your partner for exposing you to HIV it can be challenging as the onus rests on you the plaintiff to prove your case to the courts and most of that will have to depend on the cooperation of the defendant where their HIV status is concerned.
Can My Partner Be Held Liable For Negligence?
Yes. Regardless of your state, if your partner knew he or she was infected with HIV and failed to inform you, the person may be sued for negligence. To prevail in a negligence case, you would need to prove the following:
Your partner knew he/she had HIV;
Your partner had a duty to inform you or duty to prevent the transmission of his/her STD;
This duty was breached; and,
As a result of the breach of duty, you contracted HIV.
In negligence cases, the plaintiff only needs to demonstrate that a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have told his/her partner that he/she had an HIV before having sex.
Further, negligence does not require that the defendant had ill intent. In that regard, a defendant who used protection (ex: a condom) can still be found negligent and liable for compensatory damages to the plaintiff.
The S.e.xual Offenses Act of 2006 criminalizes infection of spouses with HIV or any other life-threatening s.e.xually transmitted disease. And the penalty is imprisonment for a term not less than 15 years in jail. The law also provides for life imprisonment for the guilty spouse.
Can I Sue Someone(My Partner) for Disclosing My HIV Status Without My Consent?
My wife of 15 years has infected me with the HIV/AIDS virus. She confessed to me recently that she had an affair with a married man who passed on last month. She spilt the beans after I tested positive last week following my routine tests every six months. I am now devastated as we are strict Christians with three children below 13 years. I am annoyed with her and contemplating taking legal action against her. Is this possible?
Answer: Yes, it is possible for you to take legal action against the acts of your wife. Firstly, if you were married in Church, your wife’s self-confessed extra-marital affair amounts to adultery. Secondly, knowingly infecting you with HIV is criminal.
If you were exposed to HIV/AIDS and/or potentially contracted it, then you should check with your local state laws to see if your state prosecutes those who intentionally infect others with HIV. For the safety of others in your community, it’s important to find and stop any individuals who knowingly and purposefully expose or infect others against their will.
Source – iHarare
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