A man who’s been convicted for withholding his HIV status from sexual partners is pleading guilty again. Trevor Spoor, age 39, admitted to malicious mischief in St. Joseph County Monday.
This is the third county Spoor has pleaded guilty in for not telling his sexual partners he was HIV positive. He admitted to the same charge in three separate cases in Allen County in 2017 and another case in Marshall County that year.
He received prison sentences of three years, one year and 18 months. In addition, he received 18 months of home detention.
Court records show he met several of the women online. They say they were unaware of his HIV status when he had unprotected sex with him.
Jeff Markley, executive director of HIV advocacy group the Positive Resource Center said charges for this type of behavior may not be as long as people would expect, but that might be because HIV is not the potential death sentence it once was.
“If the virus had been transmitted to someone else back in the mid to late 80’s, that risk of them dying from the disease would be much higher than it would be today.”
He said today, someone with HIV can easily medicate their disease down to an undetectable level that won’t infect others.
“That’s huge,” he said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that that person is no longer able to transmit the virus to somebody else even if they’re engaging in what otherwise might be considered at risk behaviors.”
While he believes it it doesn’t hold the potential death sentence it once had, he said someone not telling a partner they have it is scary.
“It would be a shock to somebody or concern even if they had sex and the disease didn’t get transmitted,” he said. “Just to know that that potential risk was there. That could be very traumatic.”
Markley said it’s rare for someone to not share that information, even if they’re ashamed.
“Honestly, I think it’s very, very rare,” he said. “I think the idea that there are people who are maliciously and intentionally trying to infect other people is really pretty off the mark. You don’t really see those scenarios happening.”
Spoor sentencing is is due March 7 and he could recieve two years in prison under a plea agreement.