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Throw HIV liars in the clink.

If the accusations against Michael Neal are true than he is a criminal and deserves to be sent to jail for a long time. Lets be very clear about what Neal is being accused of. Allegedly, Neal tested positive for HIV in 2000. Over the next five years he repeatedly lied to men about his HIV status and subsequently infected at least three of them with the virus. That's disgusting, probably sociopathic, and hopefully criminal.

Opponents of legislation that would make lying about your HIV status illegal argue that it would give the government too much power to punish something as common as lying, but the government already protects us from liars. Companies that knowingly lie about their products can be criminally prosecuted. An even better example is the illegality of yelling fire in a crowded theater. Lying about there being a fire causes people to act in a certain way, usually they run panicked out of the building, and this can result in bodily harm to anyone who may gets trampled in the fleeing crowd. Yelling fire when there isn't a fire is considered dangerous speech and you can be punished for it. Lying about your HIV status is also dangerous speech. It causes whoever has been lied to to act in certain way that may result in them being infected, something that should be considered great bodily harm.

Some argue that this will result in less import being placed on personal responsibility when it comes to the fight against HIV. They think that people will no longer protect themselves if they think the government is protecting them. I know the government "protects" me from thieves, but I don't leave my car unlocked. HIV is still HIV, knowing that people may be prosecuted for knowingly lying about their HIV status is not going to make anyone less cautious. It is, however, going to punish people who have done something wrong, something insidious.

Trust is one of the few tools that we have in the fight against HIV. Everyone always says how important it is for partners to discuss their HIV status before engaging in sex. What is the point of discussing, though, if people are allowed to lie about their status? We have to be able to trust each other if we are ever going to make headway in the fight against HIV.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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