Arsenal soldier jailed for spreading HIV

A Redstone Arsenal solider is in a military prison after he was court marshaled for knowingly spreading HIV.

Sgt. Brandon Clarett appeared before a military judge last month and was found guilty of multiple counts of assault which means "likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm" along with violating his superior's command.

Clarrett was given a dishonorable discharge and will spend the next 30 months at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Officials said he assaulted his victims when he had unprotected sexual intercourse with them and did not first inform them he had HIV.

Capt. Derek Eichholz said that he first learned of the situation when an individual tested positive for HIV during a yearly screening in February. Army Preventive Medicine along with the Alabama Department of Public Health worked to notify the person's sexual partners.

Capt. Eichholz said Clarrett was diagnosed with HIV several years ago and was given explicit military orders of what he could and could not do, two of those being telling all prospective sexual partners about his diagnosis and having protected sexual intercourse.

Redstone Officials said that Clarrett had restricted access from February until his court appearance in August for the safety of the individuals around him.

WAFF 48 News Legal analyst Mark McDaniel, who has no connection to this case, said Clarrett's military case may be over, but if new victims come forward, he could face state charges including attempted murder.

"Once his name is out there, anybody who had sex with this individual certainly should be tested and certainly should go to the authorities to look at pressing charges in this case," said McDaniel.

After Clarett is released from prison, he will return to his home of record.

The Alabama Department of Public Health wants anyone who thinks they've been infected to call them.

We asked Dr. Tim Howard, a family practice physician, about those who had non-sexual contact with the soldier.

"Casual contact, kissing, what amount of the virus is in saliva is negligible. If someone was concerned about mouth to mouth kissing, and was concerned about this particular soldier and did not have intercourse. If they were worried about it, I would be tested, just for their own peace of mind," said Dr. Howard.

Dr. Howard said there are about 16,000 people in Alabama living with the virus.

Howard said medications have become so effective in stopping the spread of the virus, that people are living much longer with HIV.

The virus is mostly caused by having sexual contact with someone who has HIV or through drug use with needles.

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