April 24, 1997
Dead Man's Sex Partners Have HIV
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- About 30 sex partners of an HIV-infected man who was slain on a city street earlier this year have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and health officials say the number could keep rising.
Darnell McGee, 28, was shot to death in January. A few months earlier, he had been shot and wounded near East St. Louis.
Police suspected the attacks were motivated by revenge for someone McGee infected, and the Health Department began investigating. No arrests have been made.
About 100 women and girls in Missouri and Illinois are believed to have had sex with McGee in recent years. Forty of them came forward within the past two weeks, and about 30 have tested positive for HIV, said Elisa Daues, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health's sexually transmitted disease and HIV prevention bureau.
One of McGee's partners also delivered an HIV-positive baby.
``We're certainly hopeful that we've seen the end of it, but there's always that possibility that we haven't,'' Ms. Daues said Thursday. ``It's really a disturbing story.''
Officials say some of McGee's partners, ranging in age from 12 to 22, told them he picked them up in front of schools, liquor stores and skating rinks. He preyed on girls with low self-esteem, making them feel important with flattery and gifts, they said.
McGee was diagnosed with HIV in 1992.
Health officials in Missouri and Illinois have spent long hours tracking down McGee's sexual partners -- and their partners -- since learning about his sexual behavior shortly after his death.
Health officials posted fliers in East St. Louis urging people to get tested for the AIDS virus and are visiting schools to educate people about sexually transmitted diseases.