Is it illegal for someone to not disclose they have herpes before engaging in sexual contact with a partner?

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Is it illegal for someone to not disclose they have herpes before engaging in sexual contact with a partner?

I had sexual intercourse with a woman and after which she disclosed to me that she had herpes. She was diagnosed 6 years ago and did not tell me before we

engaged in sex. Do I have any legal recourse?

Asked on August 27, 2016 under Personal Injury, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is evidence or reason to think she intended to try to infect you, this is not a crime--criminal acts require a criminal intent, which means more than negligence (carelessness), like forgetting in the heat of passion to tell you. But mere negligence is enough for a civil lawsuit, so if you are infected, you could sue her for compensation based on the impact on your life and your medical costs. (If you are not infected, there is no point in suing: the law only provides compensaton for what did happen, not what could have.)
And if there is reason to think she did intend to try to infect you, then this may well be criminal and you should report it to the police.


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