PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Scott Burris, the Director of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice and a professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law says that Charlie Sheen can probably not be prosecuted if he had sex with someone while knowing he was HIV positive.

Burris, talking with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said while Sheen might not be the most upstanding individual, his actions are not criminal.


“It’s not dangerous these days. By and large, people who are on treatment, basically, won’t transmit the disease. There are lots of countries that have actually said in their law that, if you’re on treatment and you have an undetectable viral load, there’s no criminal activity involved with your having sex with somebody. Now, is he being a good lover? Is he being a good person? Is he being honest, the kind of person you might want to have a relationship with? Well, probably not.”

He stated California law, where Sheen lives, also make it very unlikely he faces charges.

“He lives in California. California has one of the narrowest laws on HIV exposure. He would have to have intended to harm somebody to be charged under that law. So, at least as far as California goes, it seems he’s probably not likely to fall under a criminal punishment.”

Burris did say the important lesson to take away from Sheen’s case is to always take precautions when having sex with someone new.

“Let’s just take the case of somebody who goes out right now and has sex tonight. They don’t know the person they are having sex with. Is that person an honest person or a dishonest person? Is that a person that has HIV and knows it or a person that doesn’t have HIV and knows it? The message that we want to get out to the world is, treat everybody you might have sex with as if they were HIV positive. If you are having new sex with new partners, be careful. Don’t count on somebody else to protect you. That’s the message we want to get out if we care about people not getting infected with HIV.”