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Student Leader's HIV-Positive Status Blasted in Campaign Fliers

By Michelle Garcia

A student running for student body vice president at the University of Houston-Downtown was the target of fliers that claimed the candidate was promoting a "homosexual agenda" and made a distasteful remark regarding his HIV status.

Kristopher Sharp, a junior, is openly HIV-positive, and running with Isaac Valdez as vice president and president, respectively. Shortly after submitting the proper documents to enter the race, an unidentified person posted fliers across campus that read, "Want AIDS? Don't Support the Isaac and Kris Homosexual Agenda," featuring a photo of Sharp with an "x" over him.

Even worse, the back had information from Sharp's medical files, confirming that he is HIV-positive.

While Sharp has been open about his status and his sexual orientation, he said he was devastated by the move, according to the Houston Press.

"I knew, going into the election, that I could possibly be targeted because of my sexuality -- but I had no idea that it would go to this level," he said in the report. While the perpetrator has not been identified, he said he has a solid idea of who circulated the fliers.  

University spokeswoman Claire Caton said administrators have tried to remove the fliers from campus as quickly as possible. In addition, according to the campus newspaper, The Daily Cougar, local police may launch an investigation on the matter. Sharp has said, however, that he does not want to press charges. Instead, he simply wants to know why the perpetrator did what they did, and he wants an apology.

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