HIV arrests made in Florida, Iowa

BY Advocate.com Editors

March 12 2003 1:00 AM ET

A Jacksonville, Fla., woman is facing charges that she criminally exposed at least 200 unprotected male partners to HIV. Melissa Jernigan, 24, told police that she tested positive for the virus in 1999 and continued to have unprotected sex. Deliberately exposing others to the virus is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by five years in prison. "This crime is actually in the area of attempted murder," said Sgt. H.R. Atkinson of the Duval County Sheriff's Office sex crimes unit. Jernigan is being held at the John E. Goode Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Jacksonville.

In Iowa, a Coralville man was charged with two felony counts of exposing sex partners to HIV. Adam Donald Musser, 22, was arrested last month for allegedly having sex with a woman without telling her about his HIV status. Another woman had a relationship with Musser for six months and learned he was HIV-positive only when he was arrested on February 14, Coralville police said. Musser has been held without bond in the Johnson County jail since his arrest. He is scheduled to appear Thursday in Johnson County district court.

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