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Athens police say man may have deliberately spread HIV

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ATHENS, Ga. - An HIV-infected Athens man has been accused of having unprotected sex with a woman.

Investigators say 25-year-old Martavious Antwon Mercery, who is charged with felony reckless conduct, may have intentionally infected several other women since he was diagnosed with the virus in October 2008, according to police.

"That's been the talk basically all over town, with people sending text messages around about it," Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman said Friday.

Acquaintances began in January to share information about Mercery, Holeman said.

"That's when we really started the investigation, and we finally located a victim," he said.

Medical workers tested the woman and found she had the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which can cause AIDS.

The woman now is receiving medical treatment, Holeman said.

"We've got one victim now, and we are investigating the possibility that other victims have been infected by (Mercery)," he said.

A person commits felony reckless conduct if he has sex with someone without disclosing that he has HIV. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Mercery has been at the Clarke County Jail since April 4, when he was booked in on a charge of failure to appear in court on drug-related charges.

A judge signed the reckless conduct warrant Thursday.

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