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HIV-Positive Former College Student Charged With Intentionally Exposing Students To HIV

A HIV-positive former college student at South Dakota State University is facing charges after allegedly having sex with multiple students without disclosing his HIV status.

NBC affiliate KDLT reports:

According to court documents, 19-year-old Demetrius Colaites is facing two counts of intentional exposure to the HIV infection.  Colaites is also charged with sexual contact with a person incapable of consenting.

The charges stem from two alleged acts.  In one of the alleged acts, a residential life staff member said that Colaites had possibly been having sexual contact with students and not informing them that he is HIV positive.  An 18-year-old student told investigators that Colaites did have unprotected sex with him.  The student says Colaites did not inform him about being HIV positive.

Court documents for the other alleged act say that Colaites had sexual contact with a 19-year-old student.  When the student was interviewed by authorities, he claims that he was too drunk to give consent and did not remember the events that occurred.  The student also claims that he was unaware that Colaites was HIV positive.

What's your take on this, Instincters? It's notable that no reports say that these students actually asked Colaites what his HIV status was before having unprotected sex with him. Does that excuse his decision not to disclose his status? Do they also bear responsibility?

This is, of course, separate from the case in which a student claims Colaites had sex with him without his consent. 

Should Colaites be facing charges?


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I guess, I am left with a burning question:  How does the HIV positive individual prove that he or she disclosed?  If we can't get folks to actually use condoms consistently for prevention, how reasonable is it to have to sign a consent form witnessed by someone else?

The law is unbalanced and a product of a time when fear and misinformation was prevalent.  We all know how to protect ourselves.

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Both parties should own their parts in this sort of thing.

So, this guy in question should go to prison for life as owning his part of this. There are soooooo many in our community that purposely spread HIV and other std's as a way of clear revenge, either on a specific person or at random. I have been in conversation with several gays who admit to doing this as a way of revenge.

I notice many people saying it is both persons that are responsible. Does this mean that the person who knows he is positive is removed of being responsible of disclosing his status? No it does not. Even if a person is assumed to be HIV+ you can still further infect each other as well as pass on chemical resistant strands. I am HIV- and I am HBV+. I do not do random encounters and unless I'm in a relationship I do not have sex. I make sure through talking with them that they have had their vaccinations and I take them to my doctor so he can explain to them the details, should they doubt my word. It is morally wrong, and in most states it is illegal practice for a person who is HIV+ to have unprotected sex without disclosing the status. It is not discrimination. If the person decides the don't care either out of lust or love that is their right, but they should be given the chance to make that decision them self. Many times in the heat of passion those who have lived a sheltered life or are not very experienced will come up short when it comes to matters such as condoms and safe sex. 

yes he should pay the price for exposing people to the disease.he should have informed them and if they still were ok with having sex.then condoms and other precautions should have been taken.

Ok i am a HIV + person, i feel it is my responsibility to inform my partners of my status before we even kiss. Even tho i know transmission thru kissing is next to near impossible without open soars or the like. The unfortunateness of the situation is it becomes a quote, un-quote he said she said situation. HE could claim he told them his status and they chose to take the risk. While they can claim that he did not. This unfortunately falls into the same realm as rape cause the it unfortunately upon the victim to prove they were in fact victimized. Although i do feel it is each of our own responsibilities to take our health into our own hands, as a HIV + person i cannot condone a behavior in which a + person shows such disregard for human life as to not reveal his or her own status, an even when revealing there status not protecting there partner whether they wish consent to unprotected sex or not. I have had myself a person whom i have informed of my status say they still wished to have unprotected sex with me stating, "I know the risks, and i do not care it is my choice if i want to expose myself to this or not." To which i replied, " I respect your willingness to take that risk, but i will not risk your health and to please respect my wishes to use protection." I would not wish this illness upon my worst enemy let alone someone i am being intimate with.

"Disregard for human life" also goes both ways, same as protection. A person who does not protect himself is disregarding his own life, although you seem to leave that out of your comment. 

Yes I do understand that a persons disregard for there own protection is just as bad, and yes in my zeal to post before dinner i forgot to include that. I was saying from the prospective of someone who is HIV + that I have the main responsibility to protect others from myself, IE use protection when i am with someone, and inform them of my status prior to any form of sexual contact.

Congratulations to sucking it up to the law. The law is wrong. It does not protect. Those whom you protect end up discriminating against you, in order to have bareback sex with "clean" partners who will probably lie in order to get laid. The law also prompts people to not know their status so as to avoid jail. Ergo, hiv prevails. And you, unknowingly and unintentionally, are helping spread the infection. Quite ironic, isn't it?

I was neither agreeing or disagreeing with the laws as they currently are, i was just pointing out the state of things in this day and age. I feel for those to whom claim this person used deception and trickery to go around consent and informed consent. I am not sucking up to the law, but I will how ever follow the law as it is right now cause well its the law, whether the laws be just and moral is another matter that i hope the courts can fix in the future. I am far from helping to spread the virus, i advocate, protection, safer sex, testing and asking your partner there status. As well as informing my partners of my status prior to sexual acts and using protection to stop the spread from my own sexual experiences. Unfortunately as i said it is a HE said SHE said situation in the long run, and the courts cannot accept hearsay as evidence as the current laws are. Unless the victim can prove that he either via witness testimony stated he was HIV negitive unfortunately there is no case. However in the matter of the individual whom was intoxicated at time of consent, that consent whether informed or uninformed is null and void cause this person could not give legal consent due to being intoxicated. However, again in this day and age a defense attorney will not might but will attempt to destroy the persons character. It is unfortunate but true in this day and age. I am not trying to suck up to the law i was stating facts as they are even in the unfortunate state that they are in.

To break it down: It is ONLY Illegal if the HIV + person LIED about his status !!!! It is both parties responsibility to ask their partners of their HIV status. Morally responsibly YES, legally NO....

If you're going to do GROWN Up things, expect to DEAL with GROWN Up problems. 

ALWAYS Assume, that your partner is POSITIVE...USE Protection!!!!!!!!!

Brilliant answer. I couldn't have said it better. 

Thank you for this wonderful answer. I hope many learn from the wise words. :)

Both parties are responsible. Do college students not have their Current test results with them?  That's the 1st thing you ask to see when considering bb

If you are HIV+ and you have sex with another person and don't disclose your status you are morally and legally responsible for that act. Yes Brian you are responsible for your own health and having sex without knowing your partners status is stupid and the punishment in this case would be contracting HIV. That does not mean this college student is free to drop his load and then move on to the next niev 18 year old to do it again. I hope they toss his ass in jail. 

I am HIV- and I view my health as my own responsibility. If I were to chose to have unprotected sex (which, btw, I don't), and if my partner were HIV+, and if I didn't ask his status, my partner might easily assume that I was positive too.

With something like 20% of HIV+ gay men not knowing that they are infected, you can NEVER be sure someone is negative. 

If I ask a partner, he should tell me. And I should know that (even assuming he's telling the truth to the best of his knowledge) he still might be HIV+

If I want to risk exposure & infection anyway, that's a choice only I can responsible. Same to be said if I decide not to ask: that's the risk I'm taking.

Sadly, the law makes the HIV+ partner responsible. However, it is truly the responsibility of BOTH partners to protect themselves. If you care about not contracting HIV, wear a condom or take Truvada as a prevention tool to prevent contracting HIV or practice safe sex like mutual masturbation or oral sex. If you're sober or drunk and want to have sex with a stranger, would you believe anything they told you? If you care about yourself, protect yourself. It is up to both partners equally. What about the guys that don't even know their status? 

Should be treated like a vehicle accident: In a two-car crash, like in sex, no one is totally to blame while no one is totaaly innocent. Archaic attitude around HIV/AIDS putting the onus on one person - even if he or she didn't disclose. Isn't there any responsibility on the other person? Working in health care, learned years ago a valuable lesson: treat everyone with universal precaution.

It should be the responsibility of the infected person to disclose their status. Additionally the fact that an HIV positive person does not carry condoms with them at all times is telling. 

That being said the persons in question did have unprotected sex. You should never do that unless you are prepared to face the consequences. 

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