Reporter Fired for Pushing HIV Fears
Gay City News (GCN) announced that CBS New York fired a reporter who they say described insensitive and misleading "facts" about HIV/AIDS in early December. His story implied that an HIV-positive man who allegedly spit on a Port Authority police officer was somehow putting the officer at risk for the virus, despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted by saliva. The reporter also called the alleged spitting incident an "HIV attack" in a tweet. “This online story should not have been published," CBS wrote to GCN.
But the other key piece of the story remains unresolved: that the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association also pushed false claims about HIV and disclosed the suspect's HIV status to CBS, and has not apologized or retracted anything. Many advocacy organizations have reacted with shock and anger, including Gay Men's Health Crisis, ACT-UP NY, Housing Works, and VOCAL-NY.