In a disturbing new development, media sources have come perilously close to revealing the address — and HIV status — of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser. And some say DSK himself is now on suicide watch.
This morning, the New York Post reported that the hotel maid who has accused Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault lives with her daughter in an apartment building set aside exclusively for adults with HIV/AIDS. Because of medical confidentiality law, the Post can't confirm whether she's actually HIV-positive, but they did reveal that the agency that rented to her requires that "at least one adult in the household has to be HIV-positive or have AIDS to qualify for one of their units." They also gave details about her apartment that would make it pretty easy to find.
Jennifer Bain and Bob Fredericks of the Post write, "Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have more to worry about than a possible prison sentence," implying that DSK might get HIV if he did indeed force the maid to perform oral sex on him. They quote the CDC: "It is possible for either partner to become infected with HIV through performing or receiving oral sex." But as Hunter Hargraves of the STOP AIDS Project told Dan Savage in 2008, "Oral sex is very low risk for transmitting HIV." It's not impossible that the maid could have infected DSK, but it is unlikely — the bigger issue here is that the Post has essentially outed her as HIV-positive and pretty much told readers where she lives. Since Slate France has also published her name, DSK's accuser has now had her privacy seriously compromised. The Post says she's currently in protective custody, with even her phone calls being monitored. Her attorney tells the Telegraph,
Her world has been turned upside down [...] Since this has occurred, she's not been able to go home, can't go back to work. She's no idea what her future is going to be, in any respect.
Meanwhile, DSK is reportedly on suicide watch at Rikers Island. According to the AP, the IMF chief "did or said something during a mental health evaluation that concerned doctors, and he is being monitored day and night." An official said DSK had not tried to kill himself, but asked to remain anonymous. The reason: "the sensitivity of prisoner medical information." At least someone's concerned about medical privacy.
Update: On the Today show, the alleged victim's lawyer denied that she was living in a house for people with HIV, and said that she resided in "a sublet apartment."
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Maid Experienced 'Extraordinary Trauma' [Telegraph]
French Politician On Suicide Watch In New York [AP, via My Way]
IMF Accuser In Apt. For HIV Vics [NY Post]