To be prosecuted for infecting another person with genital herpes, it must be shown that the disease was purposefully undisclosed or recklessly transferred. Punishment can include fines, prison and enforced sex offender registration, according to Kansas attorney Mark Theoharis.
While more than half of American states can prosecute a person for passing on the HIV virus, transferring the herpes virus is not always considered a felony. However, as criminal defense attorney Ave Mince-Didier explains, prosecutors can confine a person infected with an STD who may recklessly have sexual relations with others, and this confinement can be in addition to a prison sentence. In 2009, a California woman was awarded almost $7 million when her partner knowingly carried genital herpes for decades and did not take precautions during their sexual activity.