Man who failed to inform up to 50 partners of HIV status headed - WNEM TV 5

Man who failed to inform up to 50 partners of HIV status headed to trial

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Johnnie Peters, 44, will head to trial after a judge determined there was "probable cause" that he had sexual intercourse with a partner and did not inform that person of this HIV positive status.

Michigan enacted a law in 1989 that makes it mandatory for HIV-positive people to inform partners before sexual activity takes place. About 19,000 people are HIV/AIDS positive in the state.

Authorities said they know of two victims, but the sheriff's department believes there could be more than 50.

Prosecutors alleged that Peters found out about his status when he was in the Jackson State Prison in 1995.

Judge Cathy Dowd, of the 68th District Court in Flint, cited testimony from one of victims during her decision to move the case to a trial.

"We heard testimony from the victim that he was never informed by the defendant that there was any positive testing," Judge Dowd said.

"I'm going to find probable cause to bind the defendant over on the charge," the judge added.

The prosecution requested that Peters not be released but Judge Dowd cited overcrowding of the jails as a "serious concern."

Peters is being held on a $20,000 cash bond and will be placed on house arrest with a tether.

The judge also ordered that Peters refrain from having contact with anyone but family with the exception of his doctor so that he can continue to receive treatment for HIV.

The felony is punishable in Michigan up to four years behind bars.

If you have had sexual contact with Peters, you're asked to go to the Genesee County Health Department to get tested.

Three weeks ago, a 25-year-old Clare-area resident was arrested after failing to inform sex partners of his HIV infection. Officers from the Clare City Police Department arrested Philip Bryan Manners on Aug. 22 on a felony charge of Failing to Inform a Sex Partner that he is infected with HIV.

The Wayne State University's School of Medicine defines the HIV virus as:

"HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus weakens your immune system and makes it difficult for your body to fight illness. AIDS, however, stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a series of infections that result from a weakened immune system and is caused by HIV."

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