Southeast Missouri man accused of infecting person with HIV, Other possible victims coming forward

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Allegations that a southeast Missouri man recklessly infected a former partner with HIV have prompted others to reach out to police with their own concerns.

Police last week arrested 36-year-old David Mangum of Dexter after his former partner tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Mangum is charged with felony recklessly infecting another with HIV.

The Dexter Daily Statesman reports that since the story was reported in the media, Dexter detective Cory Mills has interviewed six other people who have raised concerns, and he plans to speak to even more people. He declined to say how many have tested positive for HIV.

Police say Mangum told them he has been HIV-positive since 2003 and has had up to 300 partners since then. He told police that 50 to 60 of those partners were in Stoddard County, a rural county about 130 miles south of St. Louis with about 30,000 residents.

Mangum said "fear of rejection" was the reason he failed to disclose his HIV status to sexual partners, Mills said.

At least two of the people he interviewed plan to pursue criminal charges, Mills said. Charges can be filed even if the sex partner did not contract HIV, he said. The possible penalty is up to life in prison for each offense in cases where the victim contracted HIV, and up to 15 years in cases where they didn't, Stoddard County prosecutor Russ Oliver said Tuesday.

Mangum is jailed on $250,000 cash-only bond. He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday.

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