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Health Department investigates HIV exposure claim

The Kent County Health Department is warning the community of an HIV-positive man's claims that he has been sexually active and injecting drugs without disclosing his status.
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The Kent County Health Department released a statement earlier today regarding a 51-year-old man from Comstock Park claiming to intentionally spread the HIV virus to unsuspecting sexual partners.

The Health Department is currently working with Grand Rapids Police and the Kent County Prosecutors Office, investigating claims made by an HIV-positive man that he has been sexually active and injecting drugs without disclosing his status. Police say the man suggested that he was intentionally trying to spread the virus to as many people as possible, and that hundreds of people may have been exposed to HIV. 

Police say the suspect, 51-year-old David Smith from Kent County, made statements that suggested his activities may have included people from outside of the area, including individuals he met over the internet. The man is currently being held in the Kent County Jail, charged with one count of “AIDS- sexual penetration with uninformed partner" (failing to disclose HIV status). 

The Kent County Health Department is taking this health threat seriously. They are aggressively investigating the allegations, tracking down potential victims and encouraging HIV testing for any individuals who believe they may have been exposed to the suspect. Due to federal HIPPA laws, additional information cannot be provided about potential victims.

Anyone who is concerned should immediately have his or her HIV status tested. The Health Department provides quick, safe, anonymous and confidential testing. Call the Personal Health Services Clinic at 616.632.7171 for more information.

Disclosure: The above information was provided by Jim Talen from a released statement from the Kent County Health Department.

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