Man admits giving HIV to his partner

A rural Missouri man has been arrested on charged that he gave HIV to his partner – and exposed at least 300 more people to the disease – after he hid the fact that he was infected with the incurable virus.

David Mangum, 37, of tiny Dexter, Missouri, says he had unprotected sex with at least 300 people in Missouri and Texas since learning that he was HIV positive in 2003.

He admitted he did not tell anyone his status, he said, for fear that they would reject him.

Mangum, a grocery story employee, faces a felony charge in Stoddard County Circuit Court in southeastern Missouri accusing him of exposing his 29-year-old partner to HIV, which causes a life-threatening failure of the immune system commonly known as AIDS, according to court documents.

As well, Mangum admitted to having unprotected sex with more than 300 partners in Missouri and Texas since learning he was HIV positive in 2003, some of whom he had met through ads on the Craigslist Internet site, the court documents said.

‘This situation is a serious public health concern,’ Russell Oliver, Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney, said in a statement. ‘There are potentially 300 or more unknown victims that have been unknowingly exposed to HIV in this region. If any of those 300 individuals contracted the virus, all sexual partners of those victims have potentially been exposed.’

As a result of Mangum’s charges becoming public, requests for HIV tests have shot up four fold in rural Stoddard county – from 13 to month to 15 in the last week alone, according to the Southeastern Missourian newspaper.

In neighboring Cape Girardeau County, men and women who fear they could be Mangum’s victims have been calling the local public health center.

‘We’re getting a lot of phone calls about “Should I be tested” and the types of testing we do,’ public health administrator Lindsay Craft told the newspaper.

Mangum, who worked in a grocery store in Dexter, Missouri, was arrested after his former partner learned in July that he was HIV positive. The man told police that Mangum had lied about having the virus.

Dexter Police Detective Cory Mills said Mangum told him he hid his HIV status from sexual partners because he feared they would reject him.

Mangum was assigned a public defender and his bail was set $250,000.


Source: Mail Online