Omission of HIV status lead to the conviction of a 42-year-old Georgia man accused of sleeping with women without disclosure. Craig Davis was given a prison sentence in Clayton County court after two women claim he infected them with the virus. The women accused Davis of failing to make them aware of his HIV diagnosis before having sex with them.
Davis says he never slept with the both women, denying ever sleeping with the woman from Clayton County. The second charge comes from Fulton County where Davis does admit to sleeping with his accuser.
Refuting the Fulton County woman’s claim, Davis’ attorney, John Turner says, that his client’s 2012 diagnosis may not have been correct. He says that Davis had a crack cocaine addiction when the test was administered and that his antibodies may have been altered due to that fact. Pneumonia and excessive weight loss are common with crack addiction and HIV.
Turner shared with WXIT-TV:
“The test isn’t always reliable, and it cannot be proven that his client was HIV positive at the time.”
In a quote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Physician Dr. Nancy Banks, said:
“HIV test are based on antibodies present within the body. The test doesn’t isolate protein from the virus.”
The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice is another source listing her qualifications to speak on the topic with authority. This firm supports people accused of spreading HIV by providing experts in the field to absolve them of charges.
Officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention say antibodies and antigens are detectable when multiple tests are run that check for recent infections. These tests cost more than general screening tests and are used as a deeper probing secondary diagnosis when for people testing positive for HIV.
The CDC confirms that testing people for the virus too soon after infection can lead to false positive results.
Dr. Courtney Shelton spoke in court confirming Davis was given a 2005 HIV diagnosis while under her care. Davis was given prescribed medication as part of his by Davis as a regimen to be used for his continuum of care. Georgia law determines that omission of information about HIV status with sexual partners can lead to the conviction.
When Davis was booked in Clayton County Jail in 2009, he told officials that he was HIV positive and taking prescribed medication to help with symptoms associated with the illness.
Deputy Chief Assistant Kathryn Powers said:
“We are pleased with the verdict that considered and weighed testimony validating evidence for those who don’t believe HIV is real.”
Defense Attorney Turner said his client had a right to challenge the validity of the tests. Standing behind his belief that the tests are not always valid in proving a person is infected. He states that Davis may have been misdiagnosed.
Turner was not given any leeway with the evidence and testimony from health officials stating findings on antibodies to make a difference for his client. He noted the long history of discrimination around HIV and AIDS saying:
“It is difficult to get people to re-consider 30 years of prejudice.”
The verdict, omission of HIV status lead to conviction of Georgia man.
By C. Imani Williams