Ronald Murdock, a man with HIV, is being charged with murder in Ohio after his girlfriend died of AIDS. According to WTVG-TV, he is also being charged with felonious assault. OOn Tuesday, a judge set his bond at $1.5 million.
Murdock was indicted last week for the February death of Kimberly Klempner. Murdock and Klempner allegedly had unprotected sex when Murdock knew he was HIV-positive. The indictment claims that Murdock didn’t disclose his status to Klempner, which is against Ohio law.
Klempner’s son, Josh, says his mom and Murdock were in a relationship for around five years. According to him, his mom discovered her HIV-positive status in 2015, however, when she told Murdock he didn’t seemed bothered. “My mother found out about some pills he had,” Josh Klempner said. “She stayed the night at his house one night and she felt something was up. She did some snooping and ran across a few pill bottles. She did a little research on them and found out that way.”
A police report states that Murdock’s wife discovered that him and Klempner were having an affair and she told Klempner that Murdock was HIV-positive. At that point, it was too late.
“He should of warned her. He should have told her,” said Josh Klempner. “I don’t want him out here on the streets. The way I see it, they should just bury him under the jail.”
Despite major progress in medication, HIV rates are alarmingly high for Black Americans compared to other races. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, 45% of HIV diagnoses were Black despite them taking up only 12% of the U.S. population. It is not uncommon for states to criminalize HIV and AIDS instead of treating it as a public health issue. Higher poverty rates in Black communities and the issues that come with it — such as limited access to high-quality health care, mental health resources, housing and HIV prevention education — can directly and indirectly contribute to the high HIV infection rates.