What are the legalities that surround the disclosure of STD status?
Date: July 26th, 2019
Legalities of STD Disclosure
It is possible to find yourself behind bars if it is proven that you knowingly infected a sex partner with STD. Failure to disclose your STD status is a criminal offence that could land you in jail.
However, you can stay safe by getting tested for STD. Knowing your STD status is very important for everyone who is sexually active because most STDs have no visible signs and symptoms and therefore the only way to find out if you have been infected is by getting tested.
Lawfully, it is required that sexually active persons disclose their STD status to avoid spreading the virus to their partners.
This would be as simple as it sounds but the hurdle normally is starting a conversation that leads to revelations of one’s HIV status.
Yes, it is a very important conversation even in a casual relationship but it’s one of the most uncomfortable conversations. Many people shy off from this type of conversations and unfortunately, they find themselves victims of what they could have prevented.
For new partners who intend to have sex, medical history and health should be a must have conversation before either pair of pants drops!
There are laws put in place to deal with people who knowingly infect others with STDs. Criminal action on the transmission of an STD depends on the nature and intent of the infection.
STD status fall under personal health information and are not shared without the person’s consent.
Any health provider in possession of this type of information is obligated to follow the privacy laws and regulations.
Unauthorized sharing of personal information is a criminal offense and results to serious legal consequences as stated in the legality of STD disclosure laws.
There are two type of lawsuits that potentially address the transmission of STDs to a un-consenting person.
Negligence: this is defined as recklessly harming the other person.
Any reasonable person would legally disclose their STD status and seek medical advice on how they can prevent transmitting STD to the partners.
Generally speaking, we are all obliged to act in a non-negligent manner towards one another. This holds true in the spread of STDs, the infected should be responsible in ensuring that their partners know of their status and take responsible measures in preventing the spread of STDs.
Even though an infected person may use protection during sex but still infects their partner, it is reported as a case of negligence provided they had not informed their partner about their STD status.
Negligence lawsuits does not consider intent. This means that you get to face the legal consequences even if you did not intend to transmit the disease to somebody else.
Assault and Battery
In this content, assault may be defined as an attempt to harm somebody while Battery is defined as a physical contact that results in harming a person.
Therefore, when a person intentionally infects another person with STD, it is taken as an intentional tort that results in harming the person by spreading the disease to them.
It may not seem like a crime but the law recognises that there are instances where infected persons may lure individuals to have sex with them in order to infect them.
These legalities of STD disclosure lawsuit states the infected individual guilty even if they plead to not have intended to transmit the STD. The fact that they were aware of their STD status after undertaking an STD test and still had sex without sharing their status with partner, makes them guilty.
Legal consequences for transmitting life threatening STDs is very severe.
The spread of STD knowingly or un-knowingly can result in severe legal action and could literally make a one night stand a civil and criminal offense. You could avoid all these by visiting the next STD center near you to get an STD test to proceed with legal procedures.