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Civil Rights, Medical Groups Weigh In On HIV Case

Minnesota Supreme Court: cgaukel,flickr

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The case of an HIV-positive man accused of passing the virus to another man has drawn the attention of medical and civil rights groups.

This week, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will argue before the Minnesota Supreme Court that the conviction of Daniel James Rick should be reinstated.

The 32-year-old Rick was convicted in 2011 of attempted first-degree assault under a statute that makes it illegal to knowingly transfer a communicable disease. But his conviction was reversed last year by the Appeals Court.

Civil rights groups say the case could have a chilling effect on rights of HIV-positive adults to engage in consensual sex — even if they tell their partners about the disease.

Freeman disagrees, saying Rick knew he was HIV positive and chose to have unprotected sex.

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