Testing Porn Stars is Not Stopping HIV

The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report about an adult film actor in California who infected two sexual partners with HIV in the weeks after he contracted the virus, but before it was detected by lab tests. The unnamed actor was apparently infected by a partner outside of work six days before his negative lab results, according to a report by the CDC published on February 11.

The topic of whether sex without a condom constitutes free speech is a long contested one in California. As a state home to a booming porn industry, it has witnessed several attempts to mandate condom use. This November, Californians will be able to vote on a ballot measure that would require condom use for the pornographic movies and allow any state resident to sue to enforce the law.

About 50,000 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year, and the numbers seem to be increasing. More importantly, it is widely known that once infected, the virus does not show up in test results right away.

Knowingly Transmitting STDs in California

Sexually transmitted diseases (“STD”) are diseases that are transferred between people as a result of sexual contact. The state of California has several criminal laws which make it a crime to knowingly transmit or expose another person to an STD.

Anyone who has any kind of infectious or contagious disease in California commits a crime if s/he knowingly exposes it to others (it does not have to be an STD, specifically). See CA Health and Safety Code § 120290.  It is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and jail time.

It is also a separate, specific crime to knowingly engage in unprotected sexual activity if you are infected with the HIV virus. It is a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison. See CA Health and Safety Code § 120291.

Lastly, if you commit certain sexual offenses while knowing you are infected with HIV or another STD (ie. rape; prostitution), California provides for enhanced criminal penalties. Those who face penalty enhancements face up to 17 years imprisonment. See CA Penal Code § 12022.85.

Legal Defenses

The California statutes require that a defendant ‘knowingly’ or ‘intentionally’ infecting someone.  It is an affirmative defense if prosecutors cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew you were infected.

San Diego Sex Crimes, Sexual Assault, and Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje handles all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases with zeal and expertise, including cases involving sexual offenses, alleged sexual assault, and violent crimes. If you are under investigation or have been arrested for committing a sexual offense in the San Diego area, contact attorney David Boertje today. Prosecutors and the court of public opinion take sexual offenses seriously. Call us today, and we will go over all your available legal defenses and make sure you get the fair trial you deserve.