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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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