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Man Bitten By HIV-Positive Thief Contracts Virus

November 25, 1994

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A 90-year-old man bitten to the bone during an attack by an HIV-positive woman has tested positive for the AIDS virus.

Authorities say he may be the first person to contract the disease through a bite. Attorneys for the woman, who has a history of prostitution, say he may have become infected by having sex with her.

There has been no documented case of the AIDS virus being transmitted through a bite, said a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Naomi Morrison pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated battery, robbery and auto burglary. Prosecutors initially charged her with attempted second-degree murder, but replaced that with aggravated battery, which is punishable by a stiffer sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Morrison is not facing any charge in connection with the HIV infection. She has a history of arrests for prostitution and has carried the AIDS virus at least since 1988, according to police reports.

The man told police that Morrison flagged him down Aug. 24 to ask him for money. After he stopped, she climbed into his car and reached over to take his wallet. During the struggle, Morrison bit the man on his left hand, left arm and right leg.

″At least one bite was to the bone,″ Assistant State Attorney Aleathea McRoberts said Wednesday in Circuit Court. She said the bites required stitches and left permanent scars.

The man initially tested negative for HIV, which usually doesn’t show up in tests until 3 to 6 months after it is transmitted. A second test in past two weeks was positive, McRoberts said, and a third test confirmed the result.

″I have no reason to believe the virus came anywhere but from″ Morrison, McRoberts said.

But members of Morrison’s family claim the man was one of Morrison’s clients, said Assistant Public Defender Rich Carberry. McRoberts said there was no evidence of that.