Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Close Call with HIV Taught Woman Caution

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Close Call with HIV Taught Woman Caution

Article excerpt

Tammy is one of the lucky ones.

Her test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, came back negative this week, prompting her to discuss her brief fling with Darnell "Boss Man" McGee and to urge other women to be careful.

"Not everything out there that looks good is good," she said Thursday. Tammy, 20, who lives in St. Louis County, is one of more than 100 women and girls who have told public health authorities that they had sex with McGee. So far, a total of 30 women and men in both states have tested positive Mfor HIV. They include McGee's sex partners and the partners' partners. Dozens more are still awaiting results. McGee's is one of only a few documented cases nationwide in which someone knowingly spread the virus that causes AIDS to 12 or more people, health officials have said. McGee, of East St. Louis, is said to have had unprotected sex with dozens of women and girls after he found out he was HIV-positive in 1992. He was shot to death in January, and his murder is unsolved. Now health officials in Missouri and Illinois and with the National Centers for Disease Control are scrambling to find his sex partners and others exposed to the virus through them. Tammy remembers McGee as a smooth talker who let her drive his car. But he wasn't always so smooth; once he broke down in tears when she hesitated to have sex with him. Tammy, a college student, met McGee in the summer of 1994. She was 17 and was staying at her grandmother's house near North Grand Boulevard in St. Louis. "He drove up and down the street," she said of their first meeting. "He stopped and talked. He asked me for my phone number. He was really nice." Two weeks went by before McGee called and said he wanted to see her again. On their first date, McGee let Tammy drive his car. "It was a nice Cadillac with a loud radio," she said. McGee drove several different cars, Tammy said. He told her he owned a car wash in East St. Louis. On one date, McGee took Tammy to a movie, "The Professional," a story ab out a hit man who befriends an orphaned girl. …

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