Mass. High Court Gives OK to Non-Governmental Needle Exchange Programs

Giving a very close reading to Massachusetts statutes regulating the sale of hypodermic needles and authorizing the Public Health Department to set up needle exchange programs, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled on June 14 that there was no legal impediment to a private, non-profit group setting up a free needle-exchange program without the specific approval of local government authorities. The ruling came in response to an attempt by the Town of Barnstable to … <Read More>

Florida Supreme Court Confronts Definition of “Sexual Intercourse”

In Debaun v. State, 2017 Fla. LEXIS 583, 2017 WL 1024526 (March 16), the Florida Supreme Court resolved a conflict between the intermediate appellate courts of the state about how to define “sexual intercourse” for purposes of a statute that makes it a crime for a person who knows he is HIV-positive to fail to disclose that fact before engaging in “sexual intercourse” with another person. Surprisingly, the 2nd District Court of Appeals had … <Read More>

A Voice of Reason on HIV and Blood Donation – From Ireland

In the United States, men who have had sex with men (even once) since 1977 are permanently disqualified from donating blood.  This rule, adopting by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the mid-1980s shortly after epidemiological studies had demonstrated that whatever was causing AIDS was probably a blood-borne pathogen, but also shortly before the particular viral vector had been shown and well before there was detailed information about how it was transmitted and what … <Read More>

Iowa Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Conviction of Gay Man for Exposing Partner to HIV

Affirming the felony conviction of an HIV-positive gay man for the crime of “criminal transmission of HIV” even though the man did not transmit HIV to his complaining sexual partner, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled on October 2 in Rhoades v. State of Iowa, NO. 3-57212-0180, that the attorney who represented Nick Rhoades at trial did not provide ineffective  legal assistance when he told Rhoades to plead guilty.

Black Hawk County District Judge David … <Read More>

Supreme Court Holds Anti-Prostitution Pledge Required by Federal Funding Law to be Unconstitutional

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a federal statute conditioning funding for overseas HIV-prevention work by non-governmental organizations on those organizations having a policy explicitly opposing prostitution violates the 1st Amendment.  Writing for the 6-2 majority, Chief Justice John R. Roberts, Jr., quoted from the Court’s famous Flag Salute case from 1943, which stated: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe … <Read More>

Unprotected Sex as “Aggravated Assault” – Are Military Courts Getting Competent Expert Testimony on HIV?

The U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed the conviction of an HIV-positive Airman for failing to obey a lawful order, indecent acts, aggravated assault, and adultery, upholding the court martial’s sentence of dishonorable discharge, eight years confinement, total forfeitures of pay and benefits, and reduction in grade.  The basis for the charge?  Tech. Sgt. David Gutierrez and his wife participated in group sex activities with others without Gutierrez disclosing he was HIV-positive, … <Read More>

Appellate Division Unanimously Affirms Dismissal of Defamation Claim in HIV/AIDS Controversy

New York Appellate Division, First Department, has affirmed dismissal of Celia Farber’s lawsuit contending that she was defamed by an email that Richard Jefferys sent to Walter Fauntroy in 2008.  Fauntroy was coordinating testimony for “Whistleblower Week,” an event organized by the Semmelweis Society International, during which a “Clean Hands Award” was to be presented to Farber and Dr. Peter Duesberg “for their stance as HIV dissenters, which put them at odds with the medical … <Read More>

8th Circuit: Homeowner’s Liability Policy Doesn’t Cover Sexual Transmission of HIV

Affirming a ruling by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, of the Western District of Missouri, a panel of the 8th Circuit found that American Family Mutual Insurance Company was not required to defend its insured, Brent Lambi, against a claim by Brian Potter that Lambda had infected Potter with HIV while they were having sex.   Lambi v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., 2013 WL 490778 (Feb. 11, 2013) (not published in F.3d). 


When American … <Read More>