San Antonio AIDS Victims Told Sex Is Felony Offense

Associated Press

City officials have been hand-delivering letters to the city's known AIDS victims this week, warning them they face felony charges if they continue to engage in sexual intercourse, San Antonio's health director said today.

Dr. Courand Rothe said he became concerned about the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome after a male prostitute in Houston who also is an AIDS victim openly vowed to continue to ply his trade.

Rothe said he also told AIDS victims in the letter that they must avoid exposing others to the disease through sharing needles or donating blood or plasma. They also were told they must caution physicians and dentists with whom they come in contact.

Rothe said 40 AIDS cases have been reported in San Antonio since 1981 and 23 people have died from the disease.

The letters went out to 14 of the 17 remaining known AIDS victims, Rothe said. There is no concern about the other three spreading the disease, he said, but declined to elaborate.

He said there had been reports that some had said "They were not going to observe precautions and they wouldn't comport themselves in accordance with the law. We felt we would advise them . . . that they could face a third-degree felony."

An unidentified AIDS victim who has received the letter told CBS News, "As a matter of fact I'm not having sexual intercourse at this time. Most of the time I don't feel like it."

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