Texas: Gay HIV positive student subjected to poster smear campaign
Police in Texas have launched an investigation after flyers surfaced on a university campus detailing the HIV status of a gay student.
University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) student Kristopher Sharp told Houston Press he was “really devastated” by the incident and that his first reaction was, “How quickly can I transfer?” to another school.
Mr Sharp, who’d recently spoken openly about his sexuality and HIV status, had heard that the flyers were circulating around campus, but was left shocked when he saw the material.
The front of the flyer had the words “WANT AIDS?” above a picture of Mr Sharp with a large “x” on it, and “Don’t support the Isaac and Kris homosexual agenda” at the bottom.
On the back of the flyer was the third-year student’s medical information from a physician visit, including his HIV status and prescribed medication, along with his home address and telephone number.
“I’ve never seen anything like this – this is the very first time anything like this has occurred [on campus],” said Mr Sharp. “There’s a culture at UHD that is somewhat less accepting of LGBT youth, but something of this magnitude is completely mind-blowing. I knew, going into the election, that I could possibly be targeted because of my sexuality – but I had no idea that it would go to this level.”
A University of Houston-Downtown spokeswoman told Houston Press: “We’re really known for diversity, for welcoming all students – this hits at core of one of the central aspects of who we are… We’re just taking all appropriate steps, and I have full confidence in UHD police. They are doing everything possible to get to bottom of this.”