Prostitute admits to spreading HIV - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Prostitute admits to spreading HIV

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - Local health experts are hoping everyone takes notice after, they say, one prostitute revealed an alarming story.

According to a legal affidavit, 36-year-old Michelle Weissman admitted to being a prostitute after an undercover sex sting Tuesday.

She also admitted to having sex with multiple men while she knew she was HIV positive for three years.

Her recent arrest on prostitution charges has brought fresh attention on the spread of HIV and AIDS in Palm Beach County.

"We are constantly canvassing the areas where we know there's known activity of that sort," said Serenia Page-Beckton, who works at the Northeast Palm Beach County Health Center.

She said this latest case speaks to the need for heightened awareness.

The arrest affidavit states Weissman was spotted standing at the corner of 12th Avenue and Dixie Highway in Lake Worth.

When an undercover officer approached, she allegedly agreed to perform a sex act and was arrested. At the sheriff's office, investigators say she admitted to being a prostitute for three years and to testing positive for HIV, though it's not clear when.

Beckton says safe sex is often a hard sell for the prostitutes they counsel.

"When people come in we do what's called a sexual history and often times they're disclosing their number of partners. It's about five men a day," said Beckton.

Five partners a day, 35 a week, more than 1,800 a year if the numbers are accurate.

"There is a law that states they must inform anyone before they engage in sexual activity of their HIV status," said Beckton.

A law too often ignored, health experts say, making the spread of HIV a risk that won't go away.

Weissman is out on $3,000 bond. She faces a felony charge for knowingly having HIV and not telling her partners.

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