Grand Rapids police investigate man for spreading HIV in Kent County

4:28 PM, Dec 27, 2011   |    comments
David Smith accused of knowingly spreading HIV to sex partners
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Police and the Kent County Health Department are investigating claims by an HIV-positive man that he intentionally tried to spread the virus to as many people as he could.

The man reportedly told authorities he injected drugs and had unprotected sex without informing his partners of his HIV status.  Authorities say hundreds of people may have been exposed to HIV.

Police say David Smith, 51, 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).

Health department officials say their counselors are 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.

While the threat of transmission varies based on the activity, the health department says this is still an extremely serious public health concern.

Anyone who is concerned should immediately have his or her HIV status tested. The Kent County Health Department provides quick, safe, anonymous and confidential testing. You can call its Personal Health Services Clinic at (616) 632-7171 for more information.

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