A Seattle-area man has been placed under court supervision after allegedly infecting at least eight sexual partners with HIV over the course of six years.
The Seattle-King County Department of Public Health was granted request to monitor the unidentified man and force him to attend HIV counselling sessions by Judge Julie Spector last Friday, according to public court documents and as first reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The man, who first tested positive for HIV in June of 2008, immediately received counseling and education on preventing the spread of the virus, but then had unprotected sex with eight individuals who acquired HIV between January 2010 and June 2014, prosecutors said in court papers filed earlier this month.
Despite saying his behavior "continues to endanger public health," authorities refuse to name the man, who is listed only as "AO" in court papers.
The man received a "cease and desist" order last month, which also required counseling and further HIV treatment. But the man, who apparently lives with his mother, according to the court documents, failed to show up for three appointments.
If the man continues to defy court orders, he could be jailed or forcibly hospitalized, but health officials said that would likely be a last resort.
"Public Health issues cease and desist orders related to HIV less than once per year, and has only sought legal enforcement of such an order once in the past, in 1993," said Hilary Karasz, a spokeswoman for the Seattle and King County Department of Public Health, in a statement to NBC News. "In the case in question, we felt legal enforcement was the best way to assure the health of the patient and public."
Several documents related to the case have been sealed due to health-privacy laws and the prosecutors office and the health department refused to comment further on the case.
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