Man With HIV Explains Why He Didn't Tell Ex-Girlfriend


UPDATED: Wednesday September 18, 2013 12:55 AM

A Marion County man is accused of exposing his ex-girlfriend to HIV without her knowledge.

Prosecutors say his weapon wasn't a fist or a gun, but a combination of disease and deception.

Tyler Drake,21, spoke about the charges from inside the Multi-County Correctional Center in Marion County.

He said he's been HIV positive since birth. He called it a curse.

"When I start being honest with people, when I tell them that 'yeah, I'm HIV positive, so what' and all that, that's just going to make them scared towards me and then I'm going to be all alone again," Drake said.

He claimed he's been honest about his status with every partner he's had, except for one.

"I asked him if he had HIV, and he told me no," said his ex-girlfriend, who 10TV is not identifying.

The 21-year-old said she dated Drake for a week and a half. They had unprotected sex.
      
Saturday, Drake's uncle informed her mother of his condition.

"I was hurt and to be honest I wanted to hurt him," said the woman.

 "She kept telling me she didn't want to die," said her mother.

Drake was arrested and charged with felonious assault.

Marion County Prosecutor Brent Yager said disclosing your status to sexual partners isn't just a moral obligation, it's a legal one.

"A felony two is a felony two," said Yager. "Whether you hit somebody in the head with a baseball bat and cause an injury or as in this situation, if you're having sexual conduct with someone, you're HIV positive and you don't tell them, it's the same law, it's the same penalty."

Drake doesn't deny the accusation against him.

"You admit you didn't tell her that you were HIV positive?" 10TV reporter Glenn McEntyre asked Drake.

 "Yeah," Drake replied.

 "Why not?" McEntyre asked.

 "I was just scared," said Drake.

"You just described how horrible it is to live with HIV," asked McEntyre. "Why would you inflict that on someone else?"

 "I wasn't thinking about that at the time," said Drake.

He said he just wanted to forget about his HIV status.

"I'm sorry. I never wanted this. I didn't want her to be hurt. If I could, I would change it all." Drake said.

Drake's ex-girlfriend says her first tests, for HIV and pregnancy, have come back negative. She will have to be re-tested.
      
Prosecutors say they are looking into the possibility of one other victim Drake may have had sex with.

If convicted, he faces between 2 and 8 years in prison.

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