Recently, a personal trainer from Chicago was arrested and held on $150,000 bail after it was learned that he allegedly knowingly transmitted HIV to three women. The suspect, Jimmy Amutavi, worked as a personal trainer for all three of the alleged victims. He eventually began dating relationships with the women, during which they had unprotected sex. Amutavi is reported to have denied having the virus to all three women, though he was diagnosed with it in 2001. According to his attorney, Amutavi had been on retroviral drugs that made transmission of the disease impossible.

In California, the intentional transmission of HIV is covered under California Health and Safety Code 120291 HS. The law makes it a felony to expose another individual to the HIV virus through unprotected sexual activity when:

  • The infected person knows that they are infected at the time they have unprotected sex with someone else
  • The infected person has not disclosed their infected status to their partner and
  • The infected person intends to infect their partner with the HIV virus

Under Health and Safety Code 120291 HS, unprotected sex is defined as:

  • Insertive vaginal or anal intercourse on the part of the infected male
  • Receptive consensual vaginal intercourse on the part of the infected female

Sex is considered “unprotected” under the law if condoms are not used.

The penalties for violating California Health and Safety Code 120291 HS are 3, 5 or 8 years in California state prison per charge. This means that, if someone in California were to find themselves in Amutavi’s position, and was convicted on all three counts, the person would be charged with 3, 5, or 8 years for each charge, resulting in a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.