Wednesday, November 23, 2005

HIV Exposure Criminalized

This is an interesting story and an even more interesting law:

Carriker, 26, was sent to prison for two years for having unprotected sex with two former partners without warning them he was infected with HIV.

I wonder, what is the fundamental basis for this crime? From a contractual standpoint, consensual relations between 2 adults, in the absence of fraud (e.g. lying about one's HIV status), should not (in my opinion) result in exposure to criminal penalties. Do you have to offer up your used car's faulty transmission if the unwary buyer does not inquire? I suppose one can assert an intentional tort theory somewhat similar to assault. Still, it seems to be reaching to me. Granted, HIV is deadly, but what is the policy goal here? It seems rather strange that a state (Georgia) that criminalized sodomy up until the Lawrence decision also passed and enforced a law that encouraged the very same act. Then again, we can't buy beer on Sunday either...