A 42-year-old man was found guilty on two counts of HIV-reckless conduct on Wednesday by a criminal court jury in Clayton County, Georgia.
Craig Davis allegedly had sex with four women without disclosing his medical condition, and infected at least one of them with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The verdict can carry a penalty of up to 20 years and he will be sentenced on Feb. 21. He will be facing criminal court proceedings in Fulton County for allegedly infecting another woman there as well, without disclosing his HIV status.
His attorneys argued that Davis had been misdiagnosed, and tests for the virus are unreliable and do not prove that he was infected.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the first test for HIV was licensed in 1985, about four years into the pandemic. In 1992, a rapid version of the test came out, then an oral fluids test, and now a home test is also available.
Kathryn Powers, who is deputy chief assistant district attorney and one of the prosecutors in the case told The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “We are pleased with the verdict. They (jury) were able to weigh the validity of testimony of people who don’t believe AIDS or HIV exist.”
Davis’ physician Dr. Courtney Shelton testified that she diagnosed him with HIV in 2005 and he was using prescription medications to manage the symptoms. It was also on record that when Davis was booked in 2009 for an undisclosed offense, he told Clayton County correction officers that he was HIV positive and had medications with him.
A nonprofit group from California testified against the validity of the HIV tests. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice brought in experts to raise reasonable doubt about the accuracy of HIV testing.
It is unknown whether Davis’ lawyers will appeal the case, or file a civil suit against the doctors who were treating him.
S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on twitter @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook.com/TheReporterandTheGirl and visit her website at www.SCRhyne.com