News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- Georgia Southern University released an alert that a man in the area is intentionally spreading HIV. Many from the Augusta area are students there, and they say there's a lot of shock, uncertainty and worry right now on campus.
The warning shocked a lot of students, including Cameron Norman, who is from Augusta.
"I texted my mom and I sent her the screenshot and she was like, 'Wow, that's crazy. Don't have sex with people,'" Norman said.
And Norman wasn't the only one who was surprised. Catherine Foreman, a junior from Augusta, couldn't believe it either.
"I was surprised. Shocked. I couldn't believe someone would purposely infect someone with HIV," she said.
Social media has been buzzing about the alert, too.
"I posted it on Twitter, and I got a lot of retweets for it," Norman said.
It's been a hot topic around campus.
"People have been talking about it for three days straight. They keep talking about how they can't believe someone would do that, how shocked they are," Foreman said.
It's created a lot of concern, but it's also been a wake-up call to a lot of students to always practice safe sex.
"I think the crazy part is that he is intentionally spreading it, but I think, at the same time, you should check your partner's status before you sleep with them. Unprotected sex is risky anyways," Norman said.
There is also some concern among the HIV community that the whole thing could possibly be a hoax. There have been cases of fake HIV scares in the area in the past.
But, if it turns out to be true and they catch the person responsible, the District Attorney's Office says the perpetrator could be charged with reckless conduct of a person with HIV and face anywhere from one to 10 years behind bars.
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- School officials at Georgia Southern University have released information about a potential health threat on campus involving a man who is HIV positive.
“Georgia Southern University received an anonymous report of a potential health danger to our students that we determined to be a credible threat,” said Dean of Students Patrice Buckner-Jackson. “The University is taking action to issue a warning to our students about the potential threat from an HIV infected male. At Georgia Southern, we strive to teach our students to make informed decisions. The safety and well-being of our students remain our top priorities.”
Dean of Students Patrice Buckner-Jackson sent the following letter to students Wednesday morning:
“The Department of Public Safety has been informed of a potential danger in the form of an HIV positive individual who may be knowingly and intentionally infecting his sexual partners. The subject is reportedly an attractive, well-kempt, well-dressed African American male who is in his mid-30s, but could appear to be in his mid-20s. He may portray himself as a world traveler who has lived in New York City, Philadelphia and Atlanta. He may also report living in smaller towns like Savannah, Statesboro, Augusta, Macon and Vidalia. He is masculine and dominant, has tattoos and sometimes wears glasses and/or facial hair.
While he has been known to target men, the subject presents a risk to anyone with whom he has intimate contact. He has been known to approach a victim, gain his trust and move into the victim's home. He may tell the victim he has a recording studio and can assist with a recording career. He has also been known to claim that he works as an HIV counselor/assistant.
If you believe that you have been a victim of this subject, please call Captain Terry Briley at the University Department of Public Safety at (912) 478-5234. There are resources available to assist you.
All students should remember to be cautious and safe. Do not engage in unsafe sexual practices. Be cautious when granting individuals access to your living spaces. Report any suspicious incidents to the Department of Public Safety.”