Man who fails to tell partner he is HIV positive pleads no contest

San Diego man faces possible six months in jail for not telling partner he was HIV positive

A San Diego man pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of violating a California health code by failing to tell a sex partner he was HIV positive.

Thomas Miguel Guerra, 30, could face six months in jail and $1,000 fine when sentenced April 13.

Guerra was charged with violating a health code that says "any person afflicted with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease who willfully exposes himself or herself to another person" is guilty of a misdemeanor.

City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, whose office brought the charge, said it was the only time the city attorney's office had brought this kind of prosecution in the two decades since the state Legislature adopted the statute.

"The law is designed to protect the public and, in this case, enforce the right of one's partner to know the truth," Goldsmith said.

The plea agreement did not include any recommendation by the city attorney that there be no jail for Guerra.

Guerra entered the plea as trial was set to begin in San Diego County Superior Court.

According to court documents, Guerra told a man that he was HIV negative when the two had unprotected sex during a romance that lasted several months in 2013. Later, the partner found that Guerra was HIV positive and filed a complaint with police.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World