(Memphis) A Memphis man is in jail, accused of meeting a teenage boy online and then exposing him to HIV.
Because he’s a minor, police aren’t saying who the 16-year-old is or where he is from but this sexual encounter may change the teen’s life forever.
Police say the man met the teenager on a social media app and they agreed to meet at a vacant apartment at a complex on South Mendenhall.
That’s where police say the two had unprotected sex.
After the encounter, they say the man stole the 16 year old’s cellphone so the teen contacted police.
That’s when the teen learned the man he had sex with is HIV positive.
Police say Deondre Scott admitted to police that he had sex with the teenager without telling him he had the virus.
This kind of thing may happen more often than you might think.
“You really have to protect yourself because there are not a whole lot of people out there that are looking out for your best interest,” said Will Batts, the executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
At the center, Batts talks with teens about safe sex. In Memphis, teens need to hear it.
“The rates of HIV in the Memphis area are really high compared to the rest of the country,” said Batts. “I think a lot of that is because we don`t talk about it enough.”
Batts says if he could have reached out to the teen before he had sex with a stranger, he would have told him not to hook-up with people when you don’t know them, or their history, and don’t meet strangers in places where you don’t have control, “All those things that parents talk to their kids about. Don`t get into situations that are dangerous.
Police say the teen had sex with Scott without even knowing his name.
Scott has now been charged with theft, criminal exposure to HIV and statutory rape. His bond has been set at $40,000.
The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center on South Cooper says it offers free HIV testing every Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
No appointments are needed and you can get your results within 20 minutes.
They also offer free condoms, support groups and information about safe sex.