Fourth HIV-Positive Person Linked to South Dakota Student Charged With Failing to Disclose His Status
South Dakota health authorities have confirmed a fourth HIV case linked to 18-year-old Huron University student Nikko Briteramos, who was arrested and charged on Thursday with five counts of knowingly exposing a woman to HIV, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to health officials, the person who tested positive for HIV has a "clear connection" to Briteramos, who found out last month that he was HIV-positive after donating blood. More than 180 Beadle County residents have received HIV tests so far (Janega, Chicago Tribune, 4/30). "Hopefully we've [tested] the bulk of the people who feel they may have been at risk," Barb Buhler of the state Department of Health said. Judge Jon Erickson yesterday denied a request that Briteramos, who is the first person to be tried under a two-year-old South Dakota law making knowingly exposing a person to HIV a felony, be released on his own recognizance and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Thursday (AP/Chicago Tribune, 4/29). Briteramos' father, Disraeli Briteramos, who was called to testify on his son's behalf, said, "He's not a serial viral killer. He did not come here to this pristine community to spread this virus. He's just as much of a victim as everyone else. He's very frightened." Briteramos, who remains in jail on $10,000 bail, could face 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine on each count if convicted (Chicago Tribune, 4/30). The Los Angeles Times today profiles the case and the effect it is having on Huron (Simon, Los Angeles Times, 4/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.