Sexual Disclosure

October 6th, 2005 at 9:37 pm by David Farrar

Some interesting debate on the blogs about the decision of a NZ court that an HIV positive man did not have to disclose he has HIV to his partner, as he used a condom. Previous cases have found unprotected sex does require disclosure of HIV – in fact a criminal offence not to do so.

On a moral level, I think there is an absolute duty to tell a sexual partner if you have HIV, regardless of condom use. In fact I regard it as vital you’re disclose any STDs at all. I doubt I would stay for a second with someone who I found hadn’t told me.

But whether you legislate is a very different matter. Already the court gets into difficult areas, as Tumeke points out, by ruling that you don’t need a condom for oral sex (if HIV positive) as long as you don’t come in your partner’s mouth. Will the next step be timing how long until one pulled out?

In theory it is almost impossible (not totally) for a man to catch HIV off a woman through PIV sex. Could a court rule a lower level of disclosure requirements for women over men?

Also why does legal requirement to disclose only apply to HIV? How about all the other nasties? Frog asks whether this might be a slippery slope that you have to disclose any known genetic issues?

Perhaps the law should focus on harm? That is, if through non disclosure a partner is infected with something nasty, they have legal recourse?

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