US man may have knowingly given HIV to 300 people
A man who told the police he had sexual contact with as many as 300 people after being diagnosed with HIV has pleaded not guilty to infecting another man with the virus.
David Mangum entered the plea after being charged with recklessly infecting another with HIV, which in Missouri carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A preliminary hearing will be held this month.
Court documents allege that the 36-year-old told detectives he had unprotected sex with as many as 300 people after being diagnosed a decade ago with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Many of his trysts stemmed from advertisements, he told investigators, and he met men at parks, service stations and other remote locations.
Police believe many were truckers or others passing through the region, and because Mangum had little information about many of the men, investigators are concerned about finding potential victims, police detective Cory Mills said.
Authorities turned to the media and more potential victims have come forward, prosecutor Russell Oliver said.
Local health clinics are reporting a recent surge in people seeking HIV tests.
Missouri is one of 37 US states in which it is a crime to knowingly transmit HIV to others.