Biters, HIV, and bio terrorism

HIV-positive Clinton Twp. biter faces charge of bioterrorism | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

The story behind the link is about Daniel Allen being charged with bioterrorism on top of two aggravated assault charges for biting a man through his lip during an altercation. The reason Allen is being charged with bio-terrorism is because he has HIV.

There are many factors to consider in this story but I’m going to give you a spoiler alert: charging this man with bio-terrorism is wrong. By doing this, you imply that every person living with HIV or AIDS is a potential bio terrorist and while we are decades from the impossibly offensive label “Gay Related Immunodeficiency Disease”, there is still a lot of stigma regarding people living with HIV.

*break into a RENT number*

*comes back and gains the serious face*

Allen is being charged with two counts of aggravated assault, combined that’s 20 years max.  In fact the the felony charges are, according to mlive.com, “assault with intent to maim and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm.” Adding bio terrorism seems unnecessary. Also, there is a law in place, a vague law, that a person with a positive status must inform a partner before penetration of said status. If you want to go beyond and above on twisting laws, why not go for the one that includes HIV? It’s not that hard to find, no other communicable disease is clearly spelled out in a law.

I won’t go into the fight itself and the actual risk of exposure to HIV involved…Okay. Maybe I will. You cannot get HIV from someone’s saliva. This does not mean that Allen didn’t have his own blood in his mouth when he bit the guy but I have yet to read anything about that. Also, Allen is stating that he was the victim of a hate crime. I won’t touch that too much as well because that’s hard to prove and if he is making statements like that, I can only hope he’s right. Hate crimes allegations are nothing to throw around lightly. Let’s go on the assumption that Allen did feel threatened, could his move to bite his attacker be seen as an attack or a defense? You would have to try argue his state of mind at the time. I’m not going to do that because, unlike Star Jones, I am not a lawyer. I am also not advocating biting, which both men did. I don’t know how biting got introduced to the altercation but it’s wrong.

Even if you ignore all of that (and you could I don’t have a bunch of sound facts and I’m not even all that invested in the prior argument) it is still wrong to add the bio terrorism charge to this case. When you make moves like that then you are no longer making the case about these two men. You are pressing implications on a population of people that had nothing to with it and already have enough on their plate without adding “potential bio-terrorist” to the list of names they might be called.

Melissa has links for you.

This link is about the ACLU calling for the case to be dropped: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/04/aclu_drop_case_against_clinton.html

This link talks about the altercation (briefly) and has a quote from his family:

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/10/stay-off-my-lawn_fail_clinton.html

This link is an update on the case. The judge is delaying ruling and set the predate trial for June 3.

http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2010/05/10/news/doc4be81e170aca8376576681.txt

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Biters, HIV, and bio terrorism

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