ONTD Political

University of Houston Smear Campaign Publicizes Student Candidate's HIV Status

12:16 pm - 04/08/2013
Kristopher Sharp, a social work major at the University of Houston-Downtown, hoped to be the student body's vice president before a nasty smear campaign drove him to consider transferring immediately instead, the Houston Press reports.

At least one person posted fliers around campus telling students that if they want to contract AIDS, to vote for Sharp and his running mate, Isaac Valdez, who both support a "homosexual agenda."

Sharp had not seen the posters before the dean of students called Sharp into his office to show him the flier, according to the Press. Worse, Sharp's confidential medical information had been printed on the other side of the flier.

"I think this is a despicable act. I am shocked that the individuals who did this would resort to this kind of smear," Sharp told WXOW.com, which reports that campus police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

Campus spokeswoman Claire Caton said she was appalled when she heard the news, according to WXOW.com.

GayRVA.com notes that university police believe they can charge the perpetrator with involuntary disclosure of his medical status without permission. Campus police also told the site that because terms like "homosexual" and "AIDS" were used rather than slurs, the attack would be considered free speech.

Sharp told the Houston Press, "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."

Valdez told KHOU.com, "I was shocked. I was speechless."

Since his meeting with the dean of students, Sharp has reconsidered transferring. He said he'll stay and the university, will continue his campaign and seeks only an apology from the perpetrator. Sharp has also said he won't press charges, according to WXOW.com.


It's not even the smear campaign that surprises me - it's that they literally disclosed his medical records. Anyone know how many years that is?
jadedcupcakes 8th-Apr-2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
I just moved to Texas about 2 years ago and I will tell you this.. I'm so sick of this crap. You would think people would just grow the eff up and not do stuff like this.. I have no idea what is happening to the world lately but this stuff needs to stop.. I'm so sick of this state!
underlankers 8th-Apr-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
Criminal fuckwits. >.<
crossfire 8th-Apr-2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
because terms like "homosexual" and "AIDS" were used rather than slurs, the attack would be considered free speech

world_dancer 8th-Apr-2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, that poster says that if you want AIDS, don't support Sharp.

Not that I think that was the intent of the poster maker, just that the poster maker's below college level grasp of grammar and symbolism makes this all the more ridiculous.
sandstorm 8th-Apr-2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's still awful that his records were disclosed, but this poster is (or, would be if people knew) influences the opposite effect.
aviv_b 8th-Apr-2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Not an expert but this falls under HIPAA. There are penalties imposed by the department of Health and Human Services for violation of the HIPAA privacy rules. It's a tiered system based on the type of violation.

Types of Violations & Penalties

Unknowing -The covered entity or business associate did not know and reasonably should not have known of the violation. $100 – $50,000

Reasonable Cause- The covered entity or business associate knew, or by exercising reasonable diligence would have known, that the act or omission was a violation, but the covered entity or business associate did not act with willful neglect. $1,000 – $50,000

Willful Neglect, Corrected - The violation was the result of conscious, intentional failure or reckless indifference to fulfill the obligation to comply with HIPAA. However, the covered entity or business associate corrected the violation within 30 days of discovery. $10,000 – $50,000

Willful Neglect,Uncorrected – the violation was the result of conscious, intentional failure or reckless indifference to fulfill the obligation to comply with HIPAA, and the covered entity or business associate did not correct the violation within 30 days of discovery.
Not Corrected At least $50,000

I would see this as a willful neglect, uncorrected but I'm guessing that the student would claim they had no knowledge of HIPAA requirements. Now if the student was given the information by someone who worked for the University, then that would less likely to be seen as an Unknowing violation.

There can also be criminal penalties, but I couldn't find specifics on this.

Frankly, he should demand more than an apology. The student responsible for this should be dismissed from the University as well as anyone who supplied the student with the information. And he is entitled to monetary damages as well. I have a feeling the University pressured him to present a conciliatory statement(cause they know they could be on the hook for some real $ if he filed against the University).
wumbawoman 8th-Apr-2013 05:02 pm (UTC)

He needs to go after them with both guns.

Do more than be shocked Kristopher. Let them learn the consequence of their actions.
sandstorm 8th-Apr-2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
Ah, the ever popular homosexual agenda
empressith 8th-Apr-2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
I love the gay agenda.
foureyedgirl 8th-Apr-2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that this story is garnering more attention. I was worried that it was going nowhere, and for a while it looked like it. I hate living here :(
234_am 8th-Apr-2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
University: where people go to get an education.

Fact: voting for someone who is HIV+ will not pass the illness to the voter.

/stupid dicks.
wikilobbying 8th-Apr-2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
jesus fucking christ

right, because someone with hiv/aids is not still a human being; because hiv can totally be passed on through voting for someone like fucking magic; because HIPAA is a thing that just plain doesn't exist! apparently!

they can fuck right off into a pit of fire tbh
eveofrevolution 8th-Apr-2013 06:53 pm (UTC)
I hope the creator(s) of that flier is smacked with a hell of a lawsuit and is thrown out of school. Goddamn.
eyetosky 8th-Apr-2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
So, wait, someone with access to those records decided "YEP this is a great idea that will have NO REPERCUSSIONS AT ALL."
shadwing 9th-Apr-2013 04:33 am (UTC)
In theory yes...though its possible (via comments above) they saw this guys bag and riffled though it for dirt, and saw the medical records/notes from dr took a few copies and replaced the files in the bag.
wrestlingdog 8th-Apr-2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
 photo tumblr_mgc3e0xmvl1rmf842o1_500.gif

This angers me on so many levels.
the_physicist 8th-Apr-2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
It's not even the smear campaign that surprises me - it's that they literally disclosed his medical records. Anyone know how many years that is?

blood well hope they got to jail
__nocturna 8th-Apr-2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, the homosexual agenda. I need to get a copy, I haven't read it yet.
mollywobbles867 8th-Apr-2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
The library is always out. :(
alryssa 8th-Apr-2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
HIPAA violations should mean a spanking with a fireball. From three thousand feet up.

sunhawk 8th-Apr-2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
The fuck is wrong with some people
tabaqui 8th-Apr-2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
So fucking grotesque and horrifying. I hope someone loses their job over this - who in *hell* gave out his medical info? Random student should *not* have access to that.
anjak_j 9th-Apr-2013 02:10 am (UTC)
The front of the flier, with its bigotry and ignorance is bad enough. But the printing of confidential medical information on the back - that shit is fucking despicable.

All those involved in this breech of data protection - starting with the person who illegally disclosed this information and ending with those whose sense of ethics didn't tell them that printing someone's medical records for all to see is wrong - deserve to be prosecuted for what they've done.
kittenmommy 9th-Apr-2013 02:37 am (UTC)

they literally disclosed his medical records

How did they even get access to his medical records??

Also, the way the flyer is worded, it reads (to me) as though supporting Isaac and Kris is the way to prevent AIDS. Surely that wasn't their intent. "Want AIDS? If so, don't support these guys!" As I said, that's how it's reading to me, but my brain is shot tonight.
brittlesmile 9th-Apr-2013 03:00 am (UTC)
This is disgusting and reprehensible. I can understand why Sharp might want to just move on and not deal with this anymore rather than press charges, but I really hope whoever made the flier and leaked his med info faces some form of serious punishment.
moonshaz 11th-Apr-2013 02:47 am (UTC)
oceandezignz 9th-Apr-2013 04:27 am (UTC)
Sharp may want to move on, but I really hope they turn around and go at the perps guns and lawyers blazing.

And the University needs to find the perps and put them through the fucking ringer, because that's putting the campus in danger, because most people are guessing that the info theft got it from Sharp's records and yeah... privacy breech?! That's. Not. Buena.
shadwing 9th-Apr-2013 04:36 am (UTC)
Depends on where they got the info, if its from a Drs office then Sharps wishes are moot. Office allowed a breach of HIPPA, thats a federal offence right there. If they were stolen from him directly, via somebody riffling though his bag, or breaking into his home...then he can choose to not press charges and there is no technical HIPPA violation.
romp 9th-Apr-2013 05:36 am (UTC)
I want to see repercussions NOW--that shit is not a little bit of okay. The persons who did this aren't ready to be professional anythings especially ones that might give have power over others.
satellite__eyes 9th-Apr-2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Serious HIPAA violations going on here.

Edited at 2013-04-09 05:57 pm (UTC)
per_simmon 9th-Apr-2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
If somebody were to do this to me, I would sue them into the ground, revivify them and then sue their animated corpse so hard they would think they're in the Old Testament. What in hell.
This page was loaded Apr 28th 2017, 2:00 pm GMT.