What to do if I have HIV and remember disclosing that I have it to the partner I often hooked up with but they claim that I did not tell them?

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What to do if I have HIV and remember disclosing that I have it to the partner I often hooked up with but they claim that I did not tell them?

I’m certain I did. Alcohol was involved before the sexual contact. What are my chances in getting out of this if this person decides later to come after me? Would it be my word versus his? Do I stand a chance? Does he have to prove that I didn’t say it? Do I have to prove it did?

Asked on September 14, 2013 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) In terms of criminal prosecution, you would only face criminal liability (e.g. jail time) if it can be shown that you recklessly (more than merely carelessly) engaged in unprotected sex knowing of the disease, or even that you deliberate had sex while knowing of the disease, with a partner who did not know. This would have to be shown "beyond a reasonable doubt," so is unlikely you could successfully be prosecuted.

2) In terms of civil liability (i.e. a lawsuit), if your partner becomes infected and can prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not), including by credible testimony (i.e. his/her word vs. yours) that a) you did not tell him/her of the disease prior to sex, b) you knew or should have known of the diesease prior to sex, and c) you caused their infection, then they could potentially recover monetary compensation (e.g. medical bills) from you. This is still not necessarily easy for them to do, but it is much easier than establishing criminal liability and is a real risk.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) In terms of criminal prosecution, you would only face criminal liability (e.g. jail time) if it can be shown that you recklessly (more than merely carelessly) engaged in unprotected sex knowing of the disease, or even that you deliberate had sex while knowing of the disease, with a partner who did not know. This would have to be shown "beyond a reasonable doubt," so is unlikely you could successfully be prosecuted.

2) In terms of civil liability (i.e. a lawsuit), if your partner becomes infected and can prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not), including by credible testimony (i.e. his/her word vs. yours) that a) you did not tell him/her of the disease prior to sex, b) you knew or should have known of the diesease prior to sex, and c) you caused their infection, then they could potentially recover monetary compensation (e.g. medical bills) from you. This is still not necessarily easy for them to do, but it is much easier than establishing criminal liability and is a real risk.


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