HIV-positive man charged with unprotected sex

A Grand Rapids man infected with HIV is accused of deliberately passing the virus to at least as many people as possible through unprotected sex.
WZZM-TV
Dec 28, 2011

Grand Rapids Police said David Dean Smith, 51, came to headquarters last week and told detectives he had unprotected sex with many partners, and also shared needles to inject drugs — and he did it knowing he is infected with HIV.

According to police, tests prove Smith is HIV positive, and at least one sex partner is also infected.

HIV prevention counselor Stephen Alsum of the Grand Rapids Red Project said the man’s motives are a mystery.

“I can’t imagine what’s going through his head,” Alsum said. “What’s really strange about this is, it’s not generally the way HIV is transmitted. Generally, HIV is transmitted by somebody who doesn’t know they are infected. This is an extreme, extreme case.”

Smith is charged with one count of failing to disclose his HIV status before sex and is being held at the Kent County Jail.

Kent County Health Department officials said they are trying to track down other potential victims and are encouraging anyone who may have been exposed by Smith to immediately have their HIV status tested. It’s complicated, because Smith said he met many of his partners on websites and doesn’t know most of their names.

“Due to federal HIPPA laws, we will not provide additional information about potential victims,” Health Department spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante said.

For HIV testing information, call the Kent County Health Department’s Personal Health Services Clinic at 616-632-7171.

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