Man arrested, accused of knowingly spreading HIV to two people

Man accused of knowingly spreading HIV

TULSA, Okla. — A man was arrested this week on two different felony charges after investigators say he knowingly transmitted HIV to at least two victims.

Court papers state Benjamin Whitney had consensual sex with the victims and didn’t tell them he has HIV.

In one case, the victim reportedly said Whitney explicitly told him he was not infected with the virus. The victim didn’t know he had it until he started feeling ill shortly after their sexual encounter and was tested by the Tulsa County Health Department.

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In the second case, the victim reportedly didn’t know he had it until he was approached by others who told him he may want to get checked.

Court papers state Whitney was diagnosed with HIV in 2014, and received counseling regarding his test results, so he was aware he had it.

Whitney was charged in July and was arrested on Tuesday.

There are several free and low-cost resources in Tulsa to help prevent and treat HIV. Experts said the best way to help stop spread of the disease is through regular testing.

Experts said there are options and treatments for people diagnosed with HIV to help manage their symptoms. People need to be responsible and get the proper medical attention.

HOPE provides STD testing, counseling and referrals for people in regard to sexual health. Tulsa CARES helps patients with emergency care, transportation, health services and more. The county and city health departments are also resources for testing and medical attention.

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