What are my rights if I was involved with a man who told me he was STD free but I recently was told that he has herpes?

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What are my rights if I was involved with a man who told me he was STD free but I recently was told that he has herpes?

I took a test, and it came back positive. Is it against the law for me to put his name and picture on flyers and put them up around town? I feel people have a right to know that he is spreading a life-long virus to unsuspecting women in our city. I think of it as a Public Service Announcement. I just want to know if I am breaking any laws. Don’t want to do that.

Asked on April 18, 2014 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you do that, expect that he will sue you for defamation. If he sues you, to prevail, you will have to prove that 1) you contracted herpes from him (and not someone else) and 2) that even if you did, that he lied and told you was STD free when he was not. This can be very difficult to prove in court, even if you are right. If you cannot do that, or if he then takes a test and it comes back that he is disease free (i.e. you did in fact get the disease elsewhere), expect that you will liable to him for a great deal of money. Even if you prevail, you'll still have the time and cost of defending yourself in court, and have your personal life barred in court. This sort of "vigilantism"--trying to get revenge or justice by publically claiming another person did something wrong--very rarely works out well.


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