A Florida man was kicked out of a recreational basketball game after a referee learned that he was HIV-positive, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Dakota Basinger (pictured), 21, of St. Cloud, had been playing league basketball all season for Florida Dream Sports, a league sponsored by the city of Kissimmee. During the second half of a game Saturday night, the referee blew the whistle and called Basinger into a room where a city employee asked him if he was HIV-positive.
Basinger, who posted his status on Facebook a week before, told the employee that was in fact positive. He said the employee told him he could no longer play in the league.
“I feel humiliated and discriminated against,” said Basinger, a rap artist who performs locally. “I felt horrible walking out of that gym.”
Here is more from the Sentinel:
On Tuesday, a city spokeswoman said in a statement that a part-time city employee “acted independently and without supervisor approval” when he removed Basinger from the game.
“The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future,” said Arin Thrower, spokeswoman for the city, adding that “as of right now,” the employee still works for the city.Basinger will be allowed to play in the league again when it starts back up, Thrower said.
Basinger’s mother, Lisa, was at the game and went with her son when the employee called him into a room to say he couldn’t play.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said the outraged mother. “I explained to them that they needed to educate themselves on HIV and that you cannot transmit HIV through spit or casual contact.”
Saliva and sweat do not transmit HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV can be spread by blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
“These fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream from a needle for transmission to possibly occur,” according to the CDC.
“Contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-infected blood” may also spread the virus, but such reports are “extremely rare,” said the CDC.
In the United States, HIV is most commonly spread by having unprotected sex and from sharing needles to inject drugs, said the CDC. Basinger said he contracted HIV, a viral infection that is the precursor to AIDS, by having unprotected sex with another man.
Basinger’s mother said she is very upset over what happened to her son and how society treats those with HIV.
“He’s going through a lot, having just been diagnosed,” Lisa Basinger said.” My wish is that everybody would become educated about the facts and myths of HIV.”