By Shaun Murphy
We all know that monogamy and abstinence are effective at preventing the spread of STDs. You can also protect yourself and your partner by practicing safe sex and informing your partner if you have an STD before you engage in any intimate contact.
Are you legally required to disclose this information? Generally speaking, you aren’t. No state or federal laws exist regarding disclosure of your STD status, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
In a number of states, if a partner contracts an STD from you, which you haven’t disclosed, they may be able to sue you in civil court. The suit may be based on the cost of medical treatment, especially for incurable STDs like HIV/AIDS or herpes, along with emotional distress and loss of income. Consult our Palm Springs personal injury law firm to learn more about your rights and potential liability.
In California, and many other states, you may also be criminally charged if you don’t inform your partner about any STDs they may have contracted from you. In California, it’s a felony for anyone with HIV/AIDS to engage in unprotected sex with a partner whether or not the intention is to infect him or her with HIV. It’s also a felony not to disclose your HIV status to your partner.
If convicted, you could face as much as eight years in prison for violating this law. If the STD in question is something other than HIV/AIDS, this is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
When you speak with an attorney from a Palm Springs personal injury law firm, be sure to ask what the applicable laws regarding STDs are in your state and whether HIV and other STDs are required to be reported to the health department in your state.