NEW YORK, NY -- Hundreds of New York residents -- and others -- may have been infected with HIV by a man who police believe has been on a ten-year mission to transmit the disease to as many people as he could. Today officials announced 8 charges of Criminal Transmission of HIV have been filed against Isaac Don Burks.
Police say Burks, 31, of West New York, knowingly spread the virus to a number of gay men in the New York area. Police say his potential victims could date back as far as 2003. Burks is described as a black male, six feet two inches tall, weighing 185 pounds. He is 31 years old with medium brown skin.
Burks' mission to sicken his lovers likely stretched to other states including anyone he may have seduced via Adam4Adam.com, BGCLive.com, Grindr or the popular app Jackd as he did with four of the eight victims who came forward.
"He's sick in the head!" the alleged victim, who didn't want to be identified, told NBC News. "He told me that he was recently tested and was negative, and then I found his AIDS meds hidden in his closet. He confessed everything when I confronted him."
The man, who was diagnosed with HIV in October 2012, told the TV station that Burks told him there were over 300 victims including men and women.
"He has been in a drug fueled downward spiral since his mother died. He loves to party with cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, or weed," said the alleged victim. "Once you're inebriated you let your guard down. He goes after people who are negative. He mostly sleeps with men, and from what I understand, he sometimes prostitutes."
Health officials released an alert to residents of New York that "possibly hundreds have been exposed to HIV," and encouraged possible victims to come forward and be tested.
New York City Health Department spokesperson Kate Caraway said this is the first time they have seen someone deliberately trying to spread HIV to so many people.
"We want to make sure that anyone who may have injected drugs with , who may have had sex with him, does come forward and get tested," Caraway told the TV station. "We want to make sure that they're not spreading the virus to anyone else."
Burks is still at large.
Isaac Don Burks has gone by several alias throughout the years including: Stephawn Burks, Stefan Levine, Isaac Levine, Stefan Burks, and Walter Brooks.
Anyone who contacts the police regarding their possible exposure, should rest assured that the police department will protect their confidentially and are only seeking information to aid in the prosecution of Burks.
Police say Burks also has numerous outstanding warrants in several states for Fraud, Forgery, Identity Theft, and Financial Identity Fraud.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Isaac Burks is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC (888-274-6372). Your call will remain anonymous.
Your tip could earn you a cash reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Burks.
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