Disclosing HIV status

Stuff reports:

has revealed he is positive – and he’s paid millions of dollars to people who “extorted” money to keep his diagnosis a secret.

In a candid interview with NBC’s Today show, Sheen said he was diagnosed with HIV “roughly four years ago”.

This is perhaps the least surprising story of the decade, considering Sheen is reputed to have had over 5,000 sexual partners.

Asked if he had infected any of his sexual partners, the Hollywood actor said it was “impossible, impossible”, and that he had “always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition”.

Not impossible, and his partners say he is lying.

Last week, Britain’s The Sun reported that an A-lister, described as “a womaniser”, had known of his HIV-positive status for years.

While the newspaper didn’t name the actor, it reported he had previously dated movie and television stars, a glamour model and Hollywood personalities.

“The reality is that if he’s knowingly put women at risk then that’s disgusting and it’s only a matter of time before that becomes public,” a source told The Sun.

Another source said friends had encouraged the man to go public before he was named by media, but he was worried about the impact on his career.

The newspaper was slammed over its reporting, with British HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust saying it was “utterly wrong” to disclose an individual’s HIV status without their permission.

I’m not quite so sure.

Yes as a general rule. But should there be exceptions? If someone is refusing to tell partners and is having unprotected sex, then should it be revealed? I guess the alternative to revealing, is prosecution – and Sheen may end up facing charges.

While AIDS (if HIV develops into it) is no longer a death sentence, it is still wrong on every level to not tell anyone you sleep with if you are HIV+ – they deserve to make an informed decision.

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