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DEXTER, MO (KFVS) -
A Dexter man with HIV faces a charge of reckless exposure to HIV infection after police say he admitted to having more than 300 partners with 50 to 60 of those in Stoddard County.
The charge comes with a warning of "serious public health concern" from Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver.
The accusations against David Lee Mangum, 37, of Dexter came out after Mangum's former live-in partner tested positive for HIV in July at the Stoddard County Health Department.
The victim said he first met Mangum in October 2012 through a Craigslist men for men ad, according to the probable cause statement.
He told police he asked Mangum before intercourse if he had any diseases and Mangum told him no.
The victim told police he had sexual relations with Mangum between 15 to 20 times from October 2012 to June 2013 and never used protection.
The two lived together off and on from November 2012 to June 2013 when the victim told police he ended the relationship after learning Mangum cheated on him.
The victim said Mangum's former roommate contacted him after the break up to tell him Mangum told her he tested HIV positive in 2003.
According to court documents, the victim said he questioned Mangum and he admitted to testing positive to HIV in 2003 in Texas.
When police spoke with Mangum, he admitted to testing positive for HIV in 2003, according to the probable cause statement.
Mangum said he has had more than 300 sexual partners since testing positive in 2003, according to the probable cause statement. He also told police 50 to 60 of those partners were in Stoddard County.
Mangum also admitted that during the 15 to 20 times he had intercourse with the victim, they would often include a third male during the intercourse.
When asked why he did not disclose he was HIV positive to his sexual partners, Mangum told police "fear of rejection."
"This situation is a serious public health concern," said Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver in a news release. "According to the allegations contained in the Probable Cause affidavit, there are potentially 300 or more unknown victims that have been unknowingly exposed to HIV in this region. If any of those 300 individuals contracted the virus, all sexual partners of those victims have potentially been exposed."
Oliver advises anyone who may have been exposed to cease all sexual activity until he/she has been adequately tested for the virus.
All of these victims need to know that they have been exposed so they can individually seek medical treatment of this condition.
Due to the initial exposure group containing 300 or more people over an extended period of time, each of which could themselves have multiple sexual partners, Oliver said this situation should be a serious concern to numerous individuals.
Oliver said anyone who has participated in any sex act with an unknown male anywhere within the region who they met via "Craigslist- Men seeking Men" and especially an unknown male they met via the website from Stoddard County should take immediate precautions, cease all sexual activity, go to your local health department and get tested.
Oliver said the charge of exposing another person to HIV infection was made a felony in 1988. Oliver says more alleged victims in the case have come forward.
"Our primary focus in getting this information outright now is so people are aware that the danger is out there that they may have been exposed that need to stop sexual activity," said Oliver. "There is a possibility that they could have been exposed, or been with someone that has been exposed to this individual."
Health experts in Stoddard County say if the number of 300 people and 50-60 in this county is true, they've never dealt with anything like that.
They say the key now is to move forward, and the first step of that process is walking through the doors to be tested.
They want emphasize that all HIV testing is done confidentially.
Employees say the process is: you come in, fill out a form, your blood is drawn and collected.
Then, you are given a number.
That is the number you used to identify your blood when it comes back about a week later.
"Just, again, the most important thing you can do is see a physician or go to the health department," said Director Debbie Pleimling.
Russ Oliver said cases like this are very rare and right now, he doesn't know how big this case could get. He said those numbers could get even higher.