Many of you are aware of that story out of San Diego involving Thomas Guerra, a 29-year-old man being prosecuted for willingly exposing others to HIV.
Because of the stigma of HIV, and because at one point the stigma in the U.S. was so severe every person with the virus was seen as a potential Typhoid Mary, there is a movement in the gay community against any form of HIV criminalization.
Because society in general despises lawbreakers but seems to have a genuine hostility for victims seen as “asking for it” as well, there is also (check the comments on any blog that posted the Guerra story) palpable contempt for gay men who engage in condomless sex. Mixed with the fact that many gay men do it themselves (and celebrate it in porn), that love/hate for condomless sex in the gay community is a perfect mirror of society's love/hate for sex in general; people love it, but people who do it, especially receptively (the women), are whores.
Now, Frontiers L.A. has published a piece on Guerra that can be read, quite easily, as an apologia for Guerra even as it attempts to be a more even-handed look at the facts of the case. (Worth noting: When the magazine sent me the link, they referred to the men Guerra is alleged to have intentionally infected as “victims”—in quotes.)
While the piece, by Todd Heywood, argues that current HIV criminalization laws do not deter the spread of HIV and are mainly in place thanks to the partially fictitious story of “Patient Zero” in the Randy Shilts book And the Band Played On, it also goes on to paint a sympathetic picture of Guerra—who knew full well he was HIV-positive for five years and who is accused of maliciously spreading HIV...and then bragging about it: