S.D. student receives suspended sentence in HIV case

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 31 2002 12:00 AM ET

HIV-positive South Dakota college student Nikko Briteramos, who last month pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly exposing a female sex partner to HIV, on Thursday received a five-year suspended sentence with several conditions--he was ordered to spent 120 days in jail, to refrain from having sex without informing partners of his HIV status, and to perform 200 hours of community service, including speaking about AIDS at area schools.

"The court wants you to become the poster child for AIDS awareness," said Judge Tom Tucker when announcing the sentence.

"I believe I'm capable of much better, and I intend to become a person who helps others," Briteramos said in a prepared statement during sentencing.

Briteramos, 19, could have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and received a $15,000 fine. He is the first person in the state to be charged with knowingly exposing a sex partner to HIV. The woman he exposed to HIV, identified only by her initials in court documents, has tested negative for HIV infection. Since Briteramos's arrest, two other South Dakota men have been charged with exposing male and female sex partners to the virus. Their cases are still pending.