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HIV Disclosure Law Sparks Unique Legal Battle in Florida

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Miami Herald; November 18, 2013

In Florida, and almost three dozen other states, it is a crime to have intercourse without disclosing a sexually transmitted disease.

So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman.

But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.

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