GREENACRES, Fla. - Detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office fear there may be more people exposed to HIV following the arrest of a Greenacres police officer.
Ervans Saintclair is accused of having sexual intercourse with two people without telling them he has HIV. Following his arrest, detectives believe other possible victims may come forward.
Doctors say any other possible victims need to be tested immediately.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Dodson says the virus may have been a death sentence in the past, but treatments are constantly improving.
It's a health scare that doctors know isn't going away any time soon, but they want to keep it from spreading.
"Tonight, as we speak, some HIV infections will be transmitted," Dodson said.
Dodson says unprotected sex can be one of the main causes blamed for the spread of HIV. Palm Beach County accounts for 10 percent of the state's HIV cases, according to Dodson.
"It's still there. It's out there. If you have unprotected sex with anybody, you could get it," Dodson said.
But, he says there is good news, especially for women who worry they may have had sexual contact with an infected male.
"If you've had sex with somebody who has HIV, actually the odds are you won't get it. But, it's possible," Dodson said.
He says it is more common for a man to contract HIV from a man.
Dodson says treatments are highly advanced if the virus does transmit.
"We know that we can keep people alive and give them virtually a normal lifespan by controlling the HIV infection," Dodson said.
Dodson says the stigma around the virus keeps some people quiet about having it.
"If you're trying to have sex with someone, and you tell them you have HIV you may not be successful."
Dodson hopes Saintclair's arrest will remind people to be cautious.
Symptoms can take up to 10 years to show.
Dodson says the Centers for Disease Control has come out with a call for universal testing that would be more widespread and a routine test when you see your doctor.