PUBLIC OPINION > Victims of 'Surprise STDs' Should Not Get Compensation

News 2012/06/08 13:00:00
The media recently reported on a 49-year-old woman who received genital herpes from a 69-year-old man she met on eHarmony. The woman won $900,000 in court after convincing the judge that the man did not tell her about his disease, and aggressively refused to put on a condom. We wanted to know what the public thought about "surprise STDs."

The overall vote was enough to make a judgement call, but it was close and controversial. One reason it was so controversial is because the situation is inherently vague. Even in the case cited above, it's very unclear what the actual circumstances were. If the defendant was aggressive enough to refuse a condom, why wasn't it called "rape"? Should that even matter? What if a victim lies about being informed, just to make a profit? There are a lot of variables.

Conservatives Dismiss the Court

The only demographic to play a major role in this issue was politics, and you can probably guess the outcome: Liberals were keen on punishment, while conservatives were quick to dismiss the court. The primary argument against punishing people who spread STDs without warning is that the victim had a certain level of responsibility, as well -- assuming, of course, it wasn't rape.

Teens Know to Use Protection

The age breakdown was interesting. Teens were the most likely to deny compensation, probably because they're still going through sex ed and know just how important protection is. However, support for compensation formed a sort of bell curve, peaking at the 25-34 range, probably about the age skimping on protection becomes the most tempting.

Men Are More Likely to Punish

We were curious to see if gender affected the results -- maybe women would be more likely to sympathize with the victim in this particular case. But there was hardly any difference at all, and the difference that did exist was the exact opposite. Women were a little bit more likely to let the defendant off the hook.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about surprise STDs. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Amelia 2012/06/08 16:16:02
    No. sorry you slept with him, you dealt with the STD. If he said no condom, you best get out of that bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • sundance The Sod... 2012/06/17 00:31:15 (edited)
    I think you may have misinterpreted my post. Actually, I was agreeing with you....Just a thought...
  • The Sod... sundance 2012/06/20 19:08:03
    The SodaHeaded Llama
    wasnt trying to start anything. initially i thought you were disagreeing as i wasnt familiar with the expression you used, and after that i was sdaying i would respect your opinion even if you disagreed, especially since poeple ussually don't agree with me.
  • sundance The Sod... 2012/06/20 20:09:19 (edited)
    Is one, of many wonderful thing about life. Though it often disagrees, it still manages to coexist quite nicely. So see, here we are, coexisting... Isn't life grand...Just a thought..
  • The Sod... sundance 2012/06/25 20:52:11
    The SodaHeaded Llama
    my sentiments exactly. anyhoo, whats the story behind that just a thought thing? is it a signature? it's pretty cool.
  • sundance The Sod... 2012/06/26 06:21:34
    Though I share my opinion freely, I never expect anyone to be swayed, or abritrarily accept anything I have to say. So, to that end, I simply close with, this is "just a thought".....
  • The Sod... sundance 2012/07/02 19:44:00
    The SodaHeaded Llama
    are you like, really intelligent? thats an AWESOME ideaaaaa
  • sundance The Sod... 2012/07/02 22:49:47 (edited)
    I don't know about being all that intelligent, but I am definitely not duplicitous or narcissistic. Those are the two traits that I despise the most in people. So to that end, I try to let everyone know that this is "just my thought" on the subject, and even though I share them, I do not expect anyone else to accept them...Just a thought...

    PS...Thanks for the kind thought...
  • A.Oscar 2012/06/08 19:41:52
    Why humans not allowed making mistakes? Everyone does a small or bigger, but if repeated and be own fault, than psychologist could analyzed to make those issues real or not A,Oscar
  • barby k... A.Oscar 2012/06/09 15:45:03
    barby karring
    Unless that chick had a mental malfunction; a psychologist was not needed in her decision to say "no" to a guy who was about to stick it to her" Come On.
  • dr blais 2012/06/08 18:58:51
  • barby k... dr blais 2012/06/11 09:08:20 (edited)
    barby karring
    People more pissed at her for not being a "classy lady" and not telling the guy to get lost and hell no he's not doing any sticking without protection. But she lowered her standards terribly; hell a hooker will insist on protection before the deed will take place, so much so; she has her own stash of condoms that she supply for safe encounters with her clients. Its called.."Universal Precaution "
  • dr blais barby k... 2012/07/12 18:49:01
  • dr blais dr blais 2012/07/12 19:12:25
  • Raphy 2012/06/08 18:51:55
    What the hell are you sleeping with him. Did she even know him that long. I wouldn't give her nothing. Need to give her a Bible........
  • dr blais Raphy 2012/07/12 18:53:54
  • Ben 2012/06/08 18:27:50 (edited)
    I still think these pictures look like the "first world problems memes." lol. lol
  • Sarah TH Marshall Switcher 2012/06/08 18:16:18
    Sarah TH Marshall Switcher
    Kind of depends.

    If you can prove that someone is purposefully running around contracting diseases and spreading them maliciously, I can see a case.

    ...But if you hop in to bed with a guy without even bothering to ask why his thing is green, that's on you. It's common sense to use a condom.
  • barby k... Sarah T... 2012/06/09 15:52:21
    barby karring
    Did she even ask was the damn thing clean smega and lint and just nasty stinky cooties that are visible and smelly.
  • john n barby k... 2012/06/09 16:25:07
    john n
    Who the hell have you been with, the only thing missing are flies. Anytime someone says no condom the reply should be; it's getting late and I have a massive headache...
  • barby k... john n 2012/06/10 05:31:01
    barby karring
    Hey' I'm a dude, dude' I don't swang that way son" dude it was suppose to be a metaphor for the chick to check him out way beforehand, to find out if he's clean; ie...no diseases, before letting him stick it to her"
    So much for that too late.
  • john n barby k... 2012/06/10 06:16:58
    john n
    LOL, the reply was general and for everyone. If it has flies don't close your eyes just run...
  • barby k... john n 2012/06/11 09:32:00 (edited)
    barby karring
    I was saying he could have been a really persuasive good looking man; that was a smooth sexy looking something, and she'd made up her mind she giving him a lil loving on that evening. He said no rubber and she still gave it up" her fault for taking a chance with a poisonous dick.
    Lay with dogs get up with fleas, lay with flies get up with maggots (just because it tickle around the coochie and you see what it is; you got a choice to open the door and let it in, or keep it closed and run.
  • john n barby k... 2012/06/12 21:35:07
    john n
  • Dagon 2012/06/08 18:04:24
  • Bulanova (Team Hargitay) 2012/06/08 18:00:31
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    I couldn't vote on that poll. I mean, not telling your partner you have HIV is a criminal offense, even though we hear "AIDS is no longer a 'death sentence' " in the news. Any kind of STDs are embarrassing and costly. If intentionally withholding that you have HIV from a sexual partner is a criminal offense, it seems withholding that you have any other STD from a sexual partner should be (though maybe to a lesser extent).

    Another thing that prevented me from voting is that it would have to be on a case-by-case basis. If you've dated someone for a long time and trust that person and are finally ready to sleep together, if you ask outright and they lie, that seems like it should be punishable to me. There is also an instance where, let's say, a couple has been together for years STD-free, but one of them cheats and knowingly contracts an STD. Should there not be some sort of liability for continuing sex with the unknowing partner and exposing them? However, jumping in the sack with no protection after not knowing each other long, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or just simply not asking, I would think no compensation. I guess what it boils down to for me is how responsible for contracting the STD each party is, and that's what would have to be a case-by-case basis. But then that comes down to a he-said, she-said type thing which is almost impossible to prove in court.

    Wow, that was a lot longer than I thought it would be.
  • sundance Bulanov... 2012/06/09 08:32:25
    Could have been one word....Logic. Is all good though, as you did make your point quite well...Just a thought...
  • barby k... Bulanov... 2012/06/12 14:47:16
    barby karring
    Aids is the death sentence; hiv can be controlled by medication cocktails to inhibit the virus from turning into full blown aids by building up the immune system and t-cell levels which are monitored by blood test taken intermittently by order of patients
  • Bulanov... barby k... 2012/06/12 16:34:01
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    Ah, gotcha. But still, my initial point stands as HIV is what is transmitted.
  • Eddie_DOMA_is_dead 2012/06/08 17:45:40 (edited)
  • Gracie ~Gun Totin' Gracie~ 2012/06/08 17:44:21 (edited)
    Gracie ~Gun Totin' Gracie~
    I wouldn't have given her squat diddly!!!! She wants to have unprotected sex, then she is responsible for what she catches. Lawyers are one of the biggest problems we have in America..everybody wants somebody else to pay for their own mistakes! good grief charlie brown
  • Confederate 2012/06/08 17:30:08
    the answer is hell no they shuoldn't only if the child was born with aids or some other disease shuold they.

    Those who can't keep their pants on shuold pay the conseqences for their own actions. It is the persons own fualt for getting a STD.
  • Kibelle 2012/06/08 17:23:53
    If the guy knew about his disease and decided to disclose it from her, then I agree the woman should sue him.
  • barby k... Kibelle 2012/06/10 05:53:28
    barby karring
    When he made it clear no condoms available or would be used by him in the encounter with her, she should've called it an evening and depending on who's place either were visiting; someone most definitely would have to exit left just leave.
  • Thom Payne 2012/06/08 17:13:41
    Thom Payne
    The problem wasn't the transmission of the disease but whether or not the man knew he was infected and didn't disclose the information to his partner before sex. This is the problem with conservatives, as seen in the response, here - they want to blame the victim.

    If the guy didn't know he was infected, that would be one mitigating factor. If the woman knew he was infected but didn't have lesions and agreed to sex anyway, that would also be a mitigating factor.

    That the guy knew he was infected and didn't disclose before having sex, that is not negligence on the part of the woman, but that on the part of the man, and he should TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

    That being, said, it is also a point that the award might be excessive.
  • MorbidC... Thom Payne 2012/06/08 17:22:04 (edited)
    If people didn't have sex outside of marriage in the first place this wouldn't be a problem, but of course liberals care more about pleasure and compensation than health and responsibility.
  • Thom Payne MorbidC... 2012/06/08 17:23:44
    Thom Payne
    So, you want to legislate morality? You CONmen care more about government controlling people's behavior than you do health, responsibility or even any sense of fairness.

    You cannot say you love America and hate Americans...so why do you hate America?
  • MorbidC... Thom Payne 2012/06/08 17:27:52 (edited)
    All laws are based on morality dumbass. And if people don't want to get STD's they shouldn't have sex period. And you're the one who doesn't care about Americans (or people in general) since you think it's ok to have sex with people you don't know well which is usually how people get STD's in the first place.
  • Thom Payne MorbidC... 2012/06/08 17:29:42
    Thom Payne
    No, they are not, dumbass. They are based on endangering or otherwise injuring others, not morality.

    Maybe YOU go without sex involuntarily, but please don't try to sentence the rest of humanity over your shortcomings.
  • MorbidC... Thom Payne 2012/06/08 17:31:34 (edited)
    Yes they are idiot. Morality is about doing the right thing and many laws are put in place to keep people from doing wrong as much as possible. And how the hell is going without sex a shortcoming? Chastity (1 of the seven virtues) is actually a good thing.
  • Thom Payne MorbidC... 2012/06/08 17:34:58
    Thom Payne
    No, they aren't genius. I just love you CONmen who think that the laws of the US are based somehow on the Ten Commandments while only two are codified in law, two are encouraged and two are against the laws of the US.

    YOU say chastity is a good thing...as do most who have no other choice. Please don't try to make the choice for the rest of us.

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