HIV-Positive Student Government Candidate Kristopher Sharp Faces Smear Campaign At University of Houston-Downtown


A social work major at the University of Houston-Downtown considered transferring after enduring a nasty smear campaign during his run for student body vice president.

Flyers were circulated around campus telling students that if they wanted to get AIDS, they should vote for Kristopher Sharp and his running mate, Isaac Valdez, who both support a "homosexual agenda."

At one point, the dean of students called Sharp into his office to show him the flyer that was going around. It was the first time he had been made aware of its existence. Besides the offensive message, Sharp's confidential medical information, identifying him as an HIV-positive student, had been printed on the other side of the flyer.

The Houston Press described the flyer like this:

“A giant X sliced across the photo. ‘WANT AIDS?’ blared the top of the flyer. Just beneath the photo: ‘DON'T SUPPORT THE Isaac and Kris HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA.’”

Campus police have opened a criminal investigation about the incident.

"I think this is a despicable act. I am shocked that the individuals who did this would resort to this kind of smear,” Sharp said. His running mate, Valdez, said, "I was shocked. I was speechless."

Campus spokeswoman Claire Caton was appalled when she heard the news, The Huffington Post reports.

In an interview, Sharp said: "There's a culture at UHD that is somewhat less accepting of LGBT youth, but something of this magnitude is completely mind-blowing. 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."

Although he did consider transferring, Sharp is going to stay at the university and continue his campaign. He doesn’t want to press charges against the person who made the flyer - he just wants an apology.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Houston Press


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