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AIBU to think a 14 month sentence for passing on herpes is thin end of wedge?

(236 Posts)
Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:12:01

This article has really annoyed me. Herpes is a common virus. Her ex- boyfriend denied passing it on, and lied so is a twunt, of course, but jailing him for 14 months?

With all the STDs tehre are now, some of which are really serious, is this not the thin end of the wedge? Herpes, for me, is a nuisance, but there is no way I would want the person who gave it me to go to jail. It's not AIDS FFS.

Suing someone over this is just opening the way for so many revenge cases. It's worrying that the judicial system is wasting time on this. Disclaimer: if he had knowingly infected her with AIDS it would be a different story.

biddysmama Thu 18-Aug-11 12:15:07

isnt herpes one of the ones that you have forever? i think it also means you cant have a vaginal birth if you get pregnant as it can get in the babys eyes and blind them (i might have made that up?)

26minutes Thu 18-Aug-11 12:19:02

herpes can be fatal

Yes 14 years seems a bit over the top. The perso who gave it to me denied all knowledge of having herpes (while stood there with a raging coldsore), but I think he was a bit thick rather than malicious.

Try imagining the hell you go through for the 1st few weeks of life with your newbor scared shitless that you've given them a disease that could kill them.

It's a bit more than 'a nuisance'.

minipie Thu 18-Aug-11 12:19:31

No, I disagree. He knowingly infected her with a disease. IMO that's assault - it's equivalent to hitting someone. Just because it's a less serious disease than AIDS doesn't mean it has no effect on her - it clearly does.

The seriousness of the disease is equivalent to how hard you hit them. So if deliberately giving someone AIDS is equivalent to GBH, then deliberately giving someone herpes is equivalent to ABH.

I don't know whether 14 months is a normal sentence for ABH.

minipie Thu 18-Aug-11 12:20:13

26 minutes it's 14 months not 14 years.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:20:13

Yes, you have it forever, but normally each time gets easier and the outbursts are spread further and further apart.

You can't have a vaginal birth if you have an outburst at the time of birth. My doctor was aware of my infection and we still went for vaginal birth as I didn't have sores at the time. The EMCS was unrelated.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 12:20:22

You can have a vaginal birth, but not if you've got an outbreak. And yes, you have it for life and actually, if someone knowingly passes it onto you they SHOULD be punished, because


it is bloody painful, especially the first time you get it.

and you keep on getting it, when you're run down, off colour, stressed and just randomly.

and then of course, it will affect you in all future relationships.

ok, it's not terminal or anything, but it is still really serious and something you have to deal with for the rest of your life and if someone did that to you on purpose then a small jail term is fine by me!!

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:22:20

According to the article she thinks he wasn't showing any visible symptoms when she was infected. We are wanred not to have unprotected sex when we have a flare up.

26minutes Thu 18-Aug-11 12:22:29

biddysmama - you can have a vaginal birth but there are risks, moreso if you have contracted it during pregnancy. There are ways of reducing the risk and even without taking acyclovir during the end of pregancy the risks are very low, but still there nonetheless.

I spent 9 months driving myself crazy reading websites about babies who were severely brain damaged or had died from contracting neo-natal herpes. It wasn't helped by the fact that dd has a birth mark which I spent weeks panicking over worrying that it was the first signs of neo-natal herpes.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:23:19

OUtbreak - thanks MBK I couldn't think of the word so used outburst blush

trixie123 Thu 18-Aug-11 12:23:39

I think its the fact that he KNEW he had it but had sex with her anyway. As it is a "permanent" thing, perhaps it is the callous disregard for the other person's wellbeing that is being punished here. The "thin end of the wedge" or "Slippery slope" argument is not a convincing one - if it were we would never do anything at all in case it led to other things. No, herpes is not life-threatening but it does mean a permanent "condition" that has to be considered which need not have been inflicted. He has done her an injury in the same way as if he had physically assaulted her and has been sentenced accordingly.

LaitAuChocolat Thu 18-Aug-11 12:24:11

God some people are so uninformed its scary. You an have a vaginal birth if you have Herpes, unless it is your first attack. The baby will have protection from your antibodies if it is not your first attack.

Callisto Thu 18-Aug-11 12:25:11

Actually, I would be extremely pissed off if some bastard gave me herpes. It may not be aids, but it is an std that will have an impact on your life for ever, plus you can spread it to other people. The reason it is so common is because so many people have your attitude that it is 'only' herpes.

As for the sentence, 14 months for deliberately infecting someone with an std doesn't seem that ott.

26minutes Thu 18-Aug-11 12:26:14

Oh sorry, well 14 months seems more than fair then. He's infected her for life deliberately, he deserves to be punished.

All the things magnificet said, I lost my job when I first got it as I needed 4 weeks off sick, I was hospitalised because I couldn't pass urine and slept for 20 hours a day for the 1st week of the illness leaving me incapable of looking after my children.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:27:01

I think not only will this case open the door to some other revenge cases, but also increase the stigma around herpes. You do have it for life, yes, but it is treatable, and as I said, each outbreak normally gets less and less painful.

Are girls who get HPV going to start suing their ex boyfriends? That's for life too and is far more dangerous than herpes, but men often don't show any symptoms of HPV. And yes, I also have HPV. Still don't want to sue my exes.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 12:27:23

Yes. Not only did he know he had it, had sex with her and didn't tell her he had it, but it was his actual intention to infect her, in order to make sure (he thought) that she would never be able to leave him or be with someone else.

That makes it worth 14 months inside.

And I hope he has an outbreak every single month and it is always very very painful indeed.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:29:18

¨^The reason it is so common is because so many people have your attitude that it is 'only' herpes.^

Actually it is so common because people are uninformed about it. People don't realise for example that when you have a coldsore you should be really careful touching your down belows. And your eyes.

But, judging from the answers IABU.

TandB Thu 18-Aug-11 12:29:22

She didn't sue him, OP. She reported him for GBH on the basis that he knowingly infected her with an incurable disease. There have been prosecutions for the deliberate/reckless transmission of AIDS going on for some years now - the cases always hinge on whether the person knew for certain that they had the disease. If they did then it follows pretty clearly that they were reckless as to whether they infected their partner, or that they did so intentionally. Recklessness and intent are the two possible mental elements of GBH.

There might be a legal argument as to whether herpes constitutes "really serious harm" as AIDS does, but other than that it is a pretty straightforward case. It certainly doesn't open the floodgates to people being prosecuted for innocent transmission of STDs. If someone knows they have an infectious disease then there is a huge moral burden on them to tell their partner and allow them to make a choice as to how to protect themselves. If they choose not to do so then the law says they are culpable for the harm that follows. It is difficult to see how there could be a situation where someone could be proved to have known they had the disease (eg medical records) and infect their partner where you could say they weren't culpable. I suppose someone could argue that their partner knew they had the disease and chose to take the risk anyway but I can't imagine that being a particularly convincing defence.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:29:56

There is no evidence to say he deliberately infected her to keep her with him. That is her interpretation of the matter.

LaitAuChocolat Thu 18-Aug-11 12:30:58

Wonder if the same sentence would apply if he knew he suffered from coldsores, didnt tell her and gave her herpes on the mouth?

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:31:54

LaitauChocolat I very much doubt it as the stigma is attached to genital herpes hmm

LaitAuChocolat Thu 18-Aug-11 12:33:59

So he was jailed beause of the location of the infection....... and not the infection itself.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 12:36:10

It's not her interpretation of the matter though, is it. It is something she says that he actually said to her. "'He said he knew if I had it no one else would want me." That's not her interpretation of anything, imo.

Saying that he did it because nobody else would want her, means that he deliberately infected her to keep her with him, does it not?

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:36:46

I would guess so hmm

And to be honest I would much rather have it down there where no-one can see it than on my face, but because that is referred to as a coldsore no-one makes the link.

Cheria Thu 18-Aug-11 12:37:31

Her word against his though. You can't base a court case on what someone said to another during a domestic.

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