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Florida Supreme Court asked to interpret HIV prevention law

February 4, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court will consider the definition of sexual intercourse in a case involving a gay man charged with not letting a partner know he was HIV-positive.

A lawyer for Gary Debaun is trying to have a charge dismissed under a 1986 law designed to prevent the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The law says it’s illegal not to disclose an HIV infection before “sexual intercourse.” Lawyer Brian Ellison argues that the definition applies only to traditional sex between a man and a woman — not oral or anal sex between two partners of any gender.

Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Geldens says it is absurd to think the Legislature would enact a law to prevent the spread of HIV and not consider other forms of sexual activity.

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