$900,000 For Herpes TransmissionJune 7, 2012 No Comments
An Oregon woman has been awarded $900,000 in damages after her date “knowingly” gave her herpes.
Apparently, she requested her partner use a condom during their romp, but he removed it without her consent before they finished having intercourse. She says she didn’t know he was infected; he claims that he told her after they had sex but that he didn’t know he was contagious.
One interesting aspect of this case is the age of the two people involved: she is 49 and he is 69. The defendant’s attorney thinks the woman is too old to be a victim and that she should have known better.
Just because someone is older, doesn’t mean they have a lot of sexual knowledge. In fact, I would say that baby boomers are less informed than their grandchildren about STIs. People from age 45-70 have the fastest growing STI infection rate in the US. The US is actually encouraging seniors to be tested due to this alarming pattern.
I can’t believe how much money this woman was given by the judge. I think the woman has to accept some of the responsibility for her infection. Herpes can be passed on even when people are wearing condoms, so there’s no guarantee she wouldn’t have gotten it even if they had completely “safe” sex like she originally requested.
I also don’t think that transmitting STIs should be criminalized. I am not sure how this matter even made it to a jury. It is hard to strike a balance between non-disclosure and a person’s privacy, but there are no guarantees, so if you want to have sex you should use condoms, but accept there will always be risks.
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