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WRESTLER MANIA

HIV+ Pro Wrestler Gets 32 Years Behind Bars For Unprotected Sex

A Cincinnati judge has sentenced former professional wrestler Andre Davis (right) to 32 years in prison for not telling women he was having sex with that he was HIV+. Davis, who wrestled under alter egos like “Gangsta of Love” and “Sweet Sexy Sensation” was convicted in November of 14 counts of felonious assault after having unprotected sex with more than a dozen women.

CBS 12 in Cincinnati reports Davis’ condition was revealed, “when the mother of his two children found his testing paperwork [and] passed it on to many of his other girlfriends.”

Ohio state law requires those who test positive for HIV to inform prospective sex partners, which he failed to do. But Davis’ lawyer claimed the statute was unfair because it didn’t require proof that there had been malicious intent.

Davis was rejected by the WWE in 2009 after testing positive for HIV and thus failing his physical.

Criminalizing unsafe sex is a risky proposition, especially for the gay community. While we hope everyone, positive or negative, takes on the burden of safe sex themselves, the law generally doesn’t see it that way: Drunk drivers, for example, are prosecuted for killing their passengers—even if the passenger should’ve known better than to get into the car with them.

At the same time, we can imagine without much difficulty a situation where a law like this would be abused by homophobic lawyers and judges to harass gay couples.

Should laws like this be stricken from the books or do they provide a necessary safety net to an unsuspecting public?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo: CBS/WKRC

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 24, 2012
Tagged: , ,
  • 36 Comments
    • SNT
      SNT

      in this day and age every should have the mind set that everyone is HIV + Period.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      Criminalizing consensual sex is ridiculous.Sex is risky for all sorts of things.It is a choice to have it. Influenza can be fatal, and risk of spreading it is high just through casual contact. If I go to work with the flu, say I’m feeling fine or better, one of my coworkers gets the flu and ends up disabled or dead, can I be arrested? These laws are basically criminalizing people for their health status. Knowing your HIV status and choosing to be private about should not be a crime.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Before this degenerates into the usual “these laws are good” vs. “these laws are bad” debate, and a lot of self-righteous “pure and wholesome” queers bragging about their monogamy and calling everyone else whores and sluts…

      The Ohio law at least concerns unprotected sex. This is obviously a bad case and maybe the sentence is justified.

      But some of these laws are truly batshit crazy – criminalizing sex even with a condom, criminalizing even non-penetrative consensual informed sex, criminalizing sex even between two HIV+ people, criminalizing sex even between two married people.

      Also, laws like these unfortunately tend to discourage testing in the first place – and therefore, treatment which usually reduces the risk of transmission to near-zero.

      But thanks Dan Avery for a little explanation from Queerty (for a change!) of other problems with these laws.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin
      Justin

      Is it me oversimplifying this by saying “it takes two to tango?”

      Jan 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Regarding QUEETY’s comment, “Drunk drivers, for example, are prosecuted for killing their passengers—even if the passenger should’ve known better than to get into the car with them.” …. did any of the women he had sex with become infected? That would seem to be relevant as to the sentence he got, given that we do not treat drunk drivers who did not kill anyone the same as ones who did. On the other hand, some drunk drivers may be much better than others at avoiding accidents – the ones who leave safety margins that compensate for their condition, including the inability to accurately assess their condition – so perhaps an analogy with drunk drivers does not provide an adequate model.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden
      Aiden

      What does this have to do with the lgbt? I mean really queerty? I wonder why you posted this particular story. Though I’m sure I already know.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @Jeff: Jeff, please rethink your position: The Ohio law DOES NOT criminalize consensual sex nor does the Ohio law deny anyone who tests HIV+ their right to privacy.

      Comparing HIV/AIDS to the common flu is a false argument, worse than comparing apples t oranges: millions of Americans catch the flu every year, infected by spouses, children, sex partners, and, the general public. Approximately 60 million Americans catch the flu each year resulting in 30,000 deaths, or 0.05%, or 1 in 2000 cases. Symptoms and side effects last 2-3 weeks, the side effect are annoying but easily treatable with over-the-counter cold and flu drugs, and then full recovery. HIV/AIDS is completely different: years of incubation; symptoms and side effects are serious, life-threatening, and shorten life; a lifetime of treatments, costly and tough on the body, etc.

      It is pretty fucked up when someone is capable, willing, and consenting to engage in sex with another yet be irresponsible to not disclose — close enough to fuck but not close enough to be honest?

      Jan 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayKay
      JayKay

      @Aiden:

      They spell out the gay relevancy quite clearly.

      I don’t know what you’re implying.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden
      Aiden

      @JayKay: What, that gay people can get aids and that this law could hypothetically affect them too? I already knew that. When this does affect a gay person then this post will be relevant, until then………..

      Jan 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      anyone who has bareback sex knowing full well they are HIV+ is the lowest form of life, anyone having bareback sex without knowing the status of their partner is an idiot!

      Jan 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      “Criminalizing unsafe sex is a risky proposition, especially for the gay community.”

      Why is the article equating unsafe sex with the gay community in the first place? We’re really talking about promiscuous gay men. If you’re not a whore, this law shouldn’t matter.

      “At the same time, we can imagine without much difficulty a situation where a law like this would be abused by homophobic lawyers and judges to harass gay couples.”

      I can’t. And even so, who cares? If you’re not being responsible sexually and putting others at risk through your behavior, then I see no problem making laws against that behavior.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marie Cohn
      Marie Cohn

      How does race enter into the equation of this guy’s sentencing? And an ugly centuries-long tradition of racializing sexual predation in America?

      Dude needed a better lawyer.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JNYC
      JNYC

      I’m a little tired of people on this board trying to defend reprehensible behavior. If you know you are positive and you have sex without a condom, you should be prosecuted. I don’t care if the “recipient” wants HIV. You’d be prosecuted if he wanted to be stabbed…you should be prosecuted if he wants a deadly virus. Hell, what about preventing its spread??

      While we might want to pretend that HIV is nothing to worry about anymore, we all know that’s just BS. ARVs wreak havoc on the body. You may be fine now, but years down the road your 60 year old body will be that of an 80 year old. And, lord, the complications before and after that point are not pleasant. I’m not even going to touch on the social irresponsibility of willingly contracting/spreading a disease that will cost at least $20,000 per year for life to treat. Believe me, there are places in this country where people go untreated, because they can’t get funds for ARVs.

      We need to get past the idea that any law requiring responsible sexual behavior is a slight to the gay community. Our community’s already been devastated by this disease. Shouldn’t we do something about it?

      Sure, I’m melodramatic, but I don’t know if the fact that this is even a debate hurts my head or my heart more. We, as gay men, should be protective of the members of our community. We’d scream our f*cking heads off if others threatened other fags, but then we turn around and feel no compassion or responsibility to protect the community ourselves. It’s sad.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Disgusted American
      Disgusted American

      as another commentor commented – any adult should assume that your partner is POZ – unless you both went and got tested at the same time,and are in a 1 on 1 relationship……that sentence is WAY WRONG!

      Jan 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston

      I agree to a certain extent, but what if the person is not aware that he is infected and both parties agree to have unprotected sex- then what? It is also the other parties responsibility to protect themselves from infection not just with HIV but other STDs as well. And where does this end ? In my opinion it’s a very slippery slope.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston

      I agree to a certain extent, but what if the person is not aware that he is infected and both parties agree to have unprotected sex- then what? It is also the other parties responsibility to protect themselves from infection not just with HIV but other STDs as well. And where does this end ? In my opinion it’s a very slippery slope. For instance what if the other party is infected and unknowingly goes and has unprotected sex with other partners- can those partners press charges against that person as well and keep the ball rolling. I think intending to hold info back about ones status is one thing-but that is not always the case. People need to act like adults and deal with the repercussions of their actions like adults as well.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Sorry, guys wrote my response on my iphone on the commute home from work and signal got stuck.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Aiden: I think they are reporting on it to make LGBT people aware of what the law is and what can or may be happening in and around the country in regards to HIV infection laws. I think it would be very irresponsible for Queerty to overlook this story and leave people ignorant and because this did not happen to a gay person-I think they are trying to let us know so that this does not happen to a gay person. And, prepare HIV infected (and non-infected people)know what the future may prosecution of not disclosing your status.

      Jan 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      meant…”may be for prosecution of not disclosing your status.”

      Jan 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TASTEY GOODIES
      TASTEY GOODIES

      He is NOT a person- he is a monster! Any person that infects another human w/ HIV has NO SOUL!

      Jan 25, 2012 at 3:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steve sydney
      steve sydney

      What’s the argument here?

      The law is if you are HIV positive… then you need to let your sexual partners know. If you don’t.. you’re breaking the law and deserved to be prosecuted. Done..

      Jan 25, 2012 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sunonthehorizon
      sunonthehorizon

      I tend to be in agreement with you on this one, Steve. I’m not exactly sure how this would law would be construed in such a way that would allow “harassment of gay couples,” as the author of this post contends. Clearly, a gay couple who are aware of their sero-statuses wouldn’t be targeted by the law. In these instances, it would appear the women, however, had no knowledge that the defendant was a carrier of HIV. It’s his responsibility to the women and to society as a whole to make this information known to them, so that they can protect themselves. I don’t see the problem there. Moreover, I think it’s an irresponsible question put forth by Dan Avery and, by extension, Queerty. It perpetuates the trope that HIV is a “gay disease.” In fact, I’m not sure why Dan felt this was relevant to the gay community: some heterosexual predator, and to be sure he is a predator, preyed on some unsuspecting heterosexual women by exposing them to an infectious, incurable disease. Where does the gay community fit in here? Hmmm…(unless you by HIV as a gay disease, you recognize that it doesn’t fit).

      Jan 25, 2012 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sunonthehorizon
      sunonthehorizon

      @sunonthehorizon: that should be ” unless you buy…” not by, sorry…

      Jan 25, 2012 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      You should definitely assume your partners are positive and only have safe sex. You also shouldn’t wear flashy jewelry on the subway and walk down dark alleys at night. None of this has anything to do with the responsibility of the perpetrator. “My victim was stupid” is not a defense.

      This man is responsible for knowingly passing on HIV, just as a mugger would be responsible for mugging a dumb victim who insisted on wearing a Rolex on the subway or walking down a dark alley. I would welcome prosecutions and severe sentences for gay men who knowingly passed on the virus. Stop excusing reprehensible behavior by shifting blame to the victim.

      Jan 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sunonthehorizon
      sunonthehorizon

      @Tom: well put! Virtual thumbs up!

      Jan 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      @Mike in Asheville: You’re not seriously defending Ohio’s nondisclosure laws, are you? I suppose you, of all people, would. As someone with HIV who actually lives in Ohio, let me tell you about this law.

      To be clear, this law criminalizes nondisclosure, rather than transmission. There may be a separate law about transmission, but Ohio’s notorious assault law-the one which this wrestler was prosecuted for-is about withholding information, not infecting. Contrary to what you and the other serophobes on this website believe, the two are not related. Let us remember the obvious, HIV results from infection by the virus, not “nondisclosure”. Disclosure isn’t enough, or necessary, to prevent infection. There are several ways to protect one’s partners from being exposed to the virus without disclosing. The law specifically states the following:

      “Felonious assault also encompasses sexual conduct in which a person is a known carrier of HIV engages in sexual conduct with another person without informing them of his/her HIV status”.

      As you can plainly see, the law does not concern itself with transmission. It has nothing to do with unsafe sex either. You can have as much unsafe sex as you want, as long as you “disclose”. In Ohio, the law is actually interpreted to penalize people for engaging in several acts that are considered “safe”, such as hand jobs. In other states, such as Iowa, this has extended to kissing.

      “I’d love to kiss you goodbye Grandma, but first you should know I have teh AIDS.” Yeah, no violation of privacy there.

      Jan 27, 2012 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DB
      DB

      Anyone who is HIV+ that has sex with someone else without telling him or her or without using condoms should get life in prison without the possibility of parole. Period. As gay men, we should demanding that these laws be enforced more often.

      Jan 27, 2012 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dionte
      Dionte

      You have to take responsibility for yourself, get tested with him before you even have sex. If not your putting yourself at risk. What if he doesn’t get tested then what.

      Jan 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      From the batting back and fourth on this issue, the prevailing consensus here seems to be leaning toward the absolute segregation and quarantine of all that are HIV+. Be careful of what you wish for in that you just might get what you want in a way one least expects. Also the saying, “He that protests too much” also applies here as well.

      Jan 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      It is so-o-o-o easy to get swept up in the highly emotionally charged atmosphere here. Being gung ho to lock em up forever. But there is one thing no one is thinking about. U.S. prisons have (by far) the highest percentage rates of HIV infection versus the free population in the free world. So you think, “Yea Buddy their gone for good!” I like to remind all here about the common knowledge that inmates actually do fuck each other and condoms are contraband behind those walls. Last but not least, the vast majority of all inmates are eventually released to the free world once again. This is reality should start setting in folks, not wishful and emotionally charged fantasy imaginations. Be careful of what you wish for.

      Jan 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • responsibility?
      responsibility?

      So what would you do if not arrest him for hiding his HIV+ status from his multiple partners. Just leave him in the population to infect as many people as possible? The facts of the case are that he criminally assaulted these women. Everyone should get tested regularly. But if you know you have HIV, YOU have the responsibility to act accordingly. no excuses

      Jan 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      @Charles:
      Thirty years into this epidemic, we have a virus that is more common in our community than herpes is amongst straight people, and homos are still literally reaching for pitchforks and torches at the prospect of coming into contact with someone who is infected. We can’t get through a single discussion without “they deserve it for being stupid” and “they’re monsters who should be locked up for OUR safety”, somehow coexisting. The arrogance that enables this incoherence is palpable. It is also ironic, as many of the people making these comments will themselves wind up infected, if they are not already.

      Any dissent from this sort of mentality, based on any rational premise, is shot down by the serophobes who frequent the site. It is then covered over by a band of enablers who pretend they are doing a service to “the community”. In Queerty, and a few of similar sites like towleroad, “the community” is a magical collection of homosexuals who live an idealized lifestyle, working white collar jobs, meeting their One Life Partner and posing for pictures with Him that seem like #Chinese wedding portraits (google the phrase). The only forces that could possibly harm The Community are from the outside, and people with HIV are most certainly as outside as it gets.

      In this mentality, gay men are, at once, delicate flowers, forever in need of protection, requiring a constellation of laws for their preservation while simultaneously deserving to be segregated or euthanized should those laws fail to protect them. This is a pattern of thought repeated within the gay subculture and on this site, in areas beyond HIV, as its readers bemoan the existence of “bullies” who humiliate 19 year old college students, while publicly flogging the private igorance of homophobic teachers or customer service workers.

      Such hypocrisy is astonishing, and somewhat disconcerting. As people refuse to recognize their stupidity, they demand ever harsher laws and sanctions. They dare use phrases like “blaming the victim” to counterattack people who question the wisdom of meeting a stranger on craigslist or introduce the concept of willful ignorance.

      To justify the entire scene, HIV is isolated into a special caste of diseases, and the need to exaggerate the implications of what is now a chronic and manageable (though expensive and degenerative) disease continually grows, as tall tales about what life with HIV is like become commonplace and poz guys who whine about their every side effect are held up as shining examples of victimhood.

      And therein lies the quandry. Gays love to be victims. We conflate suffering for nobility, and highlight what we endure, whether at the hands of “bullies” or “monsters with HIV”. People don’t respect victims though, and no group ever achieved equality by crying and demanding special protections, especially when those special protections are designed to facilitate tendencies which are opposite of other issues we purport to fight for. We simply cannot demand equal participation in the military while complaining that gay youth are such pansies that the “F word” will send them jumping off a bridge. You cannot complain that people with HIV should be put in concentration camps for the public good while at the same time upholding a delusion of monogamy within gay culture. We just can’t have it both ways. This is the schizophrenic message endorsed by this website, and indeed by gay rights as a whole. How the hell it has gotten his far has got to be one of the more fascinating and slights of hand of the last 60 years.

      Jan 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      @responsibility?: Why should people get tested? To protect other people? This is the most ridiculous, economically unsound concept I have ever heard of, and one of the leading reasons why increasing numbers of people are choosing to avoid the test. I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason why someone should get tested, and personally, I remain silent on the issue as it relates to gay men in otherwise good health as it forces them to be their brothers’ keeper.

      Getting tested should be a personal health decision, not a social responsibility. When we outsource our health and start expecting that other people are getting tested and disclosing for our protection, we set ourselves up for failure.

      You people love to throw out phrases like “no excuses”. Well, we’ve had a “no excuses” attitude for 10 years, and “no excuses-protect other people” has lead to increasing rates of infection. Lets try another “no excuses” concept. Protect yourself. No excuses. If you’re a gay man, and someone wants to bareback, assume he’s poz. Unless he’s a long term partner, this is probably an accurate assumption.

      Jan 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      So let me get this right. In today’s world, you’re able to prosecute someone for the other being too dumb to insist a condom is used? If you’re having sex you have to assume the other person is infected. I understand this guy should have informed his partners he was infected but if you’re being sexually active there is NO WAY you can blame the other for your actions when you do not have a condom involved.

      Jan 30, 2012 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lexi
      lexi

      No matter what the law is. Number one, don’t leave your test results or any kind of medical information lying around the house. His bullshit lawyer should have counter sued for invasion of privacy or something. Men and Women should bare the burden we they decided to take a risk with a man. This man happened to be tested but what about the thousands who don’t even know their own status. This is jes another excuse to lock up a black man, 32 years? Not even a rape charge? consensual sex, unprotected, is not a crime, but yeah, imagine be the woman who found out that her boyfriend had been fucking her all this time when he knew…that seems malicious.lexi

      Feb 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      @Andy: I think you have some salient points, but I think we’re also missing the elephant in the room, which is again, responsibility and common sense.

      HIV was something that “happened” to our community 30 years ago, but today, it’s a choice. Accidents are things that “happen”; doing meth or using Grindr to find guys to slam you is a choice.

      And there’s another “community” you didn’t touch on which is full of gay guys who sleep around and do their best to recreate their favorite parts of “Dawson’s 20 Load Weekend” because they want to feel desired. What Treasure Island Media can’t tell you ahead of time though is exactly how horrible contracting HIV and Hep C concurrently would be a few weeks after you play the starring role as a bottom in a dungeon sling gangbang (just like in their films). These are choices.

      So yes, if you chose to do stupid things like that, you have to pay the consequences. Does that mean that you might face criminal punishment for having unprotected sex without disclosing your status? Yeah, it might.

      I don’t know how many ways we could have been told before that this is a deadly disease that is transmitted through specific vector exposing behaviors. How many ways do we NEED to be told? And while some people are “playing the victim” as you say by demanding that people disclose their status, there are also people who equate the need for any kind of restraint as some kind of oppression. This is not new; while AIDS was ravaging our community in the 1980’s, there were plenty of gay men who felt they are entitled to unprotected sex, that anything less than that was “going back in the closet”. That sentiment is still on display even today, even after millions of deaths, even after the vanishing of almost a generation of gay men.

      Why is this happening? Because we don’t want to face facts and we have also been spoon-fed the culture of victimhood from blogs like this, the HRC, GLAAD, and the ultra-left.

      And we also don’t want to face some harsh truths. No one is saying we should put HIV positive people in concentration camps, but the biological and immunological paradigm of this disease is a cold hard fact: HIV is a virus that causes a syndrome (AIDS) which requires a host to survive. If we limit new infections and work to maintain the health and happiness of those who are infected, we will “cure” the virus through extinction. That doesn’t remove the necessity to develop novel treatments or curative vaccines, but if people were committed to knowing their status and then limiting exposure to others, while also taking responsibility for the risks of sex, this virus will be a thing of the past.

      Why won’t this happen? Because we don’t want to “hurt anyone’s feelings”. Great. Glad I’m able to maintain your ego while you act carelessly. Everyone is responsible for limiting HIV infections. That doesn’t mean anyone who barebacks is “asking for it”, like so many here and on Towleroad would like to assuage themselves with. But just as poz people need to realize they have the most possibility of impacting lives by infecting others (this means the onus is on them to disclose, to ask the status of others), people who are not infected must face the truth that if they have unprotected sex, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to infection (this means not trusting anyone who says they’ve been tested and that they’re “ddf”).

      Here’s a simple equation to guide you:

      You + Some guy + unprotected sex= risk of contracting HIV

      There you go. If you have unprotected sex, whether or not you are in a relationship, you are at risk. There are different levels of risk, but the risk is global.

      What the “serophobes” want is a free ticket to bareback without fear or guilt. That’s not going to happen because of the equation above.

      What the “poz rights” people want is a free ticket to bareback without fear or guilt. That’s not going to happen because of the equation above.

      So here are your choices: Get tested. Limit partners. Use protection. If in a relationship, make sure you can trust the person you are with before ceasing the use of safer sex methods–and even then, realize that ANYTHING can happen.

      Sure, it doesn’t sound fun or “uninhibited” to wear a condom, but if all you have to show for your “uninhibited” sex is a regimen of antivirals, a slew of medical bills, and some memories of what you consider to be “hot encounters”, can you say it was really worth it?

      And maybe it is worth it for some, but others might not find a brief experience of being “uninhibited” worth their entire life. Hopefully.

      Feb 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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