Mid-South teen charged with exposing others to HIV

There is new information about a Mid-South teenager charged with statutory rape and six counts of criminal exposure to HIV.

A Tipton County grand jury indicted 19-year-old Kayla Wilkerson for having sex while knowingly carrying the virus that causes AIDS.

"It's just not something you want to sit and talk about," said Tipton County resident Mazola Whitley.

It's not the sex that shocks people in this small town, it's the realization that, in this case, expected teenage behavior could have deadly consequences.

"It's awful. It's really awful," said Ossie Jones. "No, they weren't girlfriend and boyfriend, she just get with boys and do whatever she do," added Jones.

Jones is grandmother to one of the teens Kayla Wilkerson is accused of exposing to HIV.

According to the indictments, Wilkerson had sex with a total of four teens over two days in May, meeting in an isolated laundry room at the apartment complex where Wilkerson and one of the boys live.

There was evidence of their activities both times.

"We found condoms on the floor," said Abbey Cross, who manages the apartment complex. "I hope he was protected," Cross added.

Jones and other parents said their sons did not know about Wilkerson's HIV status.

"It's a hurting thing that people know they got this stuff and then they don't say nothing about it," said Jones.

Cross said the teen did not hide her HIV status, "Kayla told everybody. She did not keep it a secret. Everybody in this complex from the time they moved in knew she was HIV positive," said Cross.

Prosecutors said it doesn't matter if the boys knew or not. Under Tennessee law, if a person who has HIV knows they are infected and exposes someone else, it's a crime.


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