JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New information has come out Monday about a former JTA bus driver accused of having sex with people and not disclosing his HIV status.
JP Lowe, 62, was arrested in April after two woman told the Jacksonville Sheriff Office he hadn't told them he had the disease, but had sexual contact with them.
In 2003 in Lake County, Lowe was arrested for the first time for this crime after a woman who said she worked with Lowe as a bus driver in 2002 told police that they had a sexual relationship and Lowe hadn't told her that he had HIV.
According to the arrest report the victim asked Lowe if there was any need to use protection or if there was anything to worry and Lowe told her there was nothing to worry about.
A few months later, she met with Lowe's estranged wife and that she, "provided her with a copy of the medical results and other paperwork from the Marion County Health Department. One of the papers was an acknowledgment, initialed by Mr. Lowe that he has to tell sexual partners about his HIV status."
Lowe was questioned by police again after the first victim came forward. During that interview, another victim met with police and told them she met Lowe in May 2014 while riding the bus Lowe was driving. She said they had sex the same day they met. She said she never knew Lowe was infected until the first victim showed up at her house and told her.
Lowe was in the Duval County Jail and had his bond raised to a $1.7 million when another woman came forward, claiming that she also had a sexual relationship with Lowe and he failed to tell her about his HIV status as well.
A new arrest report in the case said that Lowe met the victim in 2013 while riding the JTA bus that he drove.
The woman said that they started a romantic relationship in November of 2013 that lasted about eight months. The victim told police, "Due to his well-groomed look, good hygiene and physique, [the victim] assumed that he did not have a disease. The victim recalled having at least ten sexual encounters involving intercourse with the suspect."
Rod Brown, with the Florida Department of Health, said that each individual person has the opportunity to protect themselves and using protection is extremely important. Getting tested and having your partner tested is also critical.
"My philosophy is that everyone is infected until proven otherwise," Brown said.
Brown continued to say that HIV is no longer a death sentence, but people who do contract the disease need to get medical treatment.
"There's a lot of stigma around it. I think one of the things that happens when people are infected early on, they tell the wrong person, and it gets out of hand, and that can affect the person's ability to take care of themselves, stay in treatment. There are people that go underground and not seek treatment, and I think they die in silence. I think if they are connected with people that are dealing with HIV and aids, they will realize there's life." Brown said.
Brown said there are all kinds of places to get tested and said that there are even testing sites that offer non-traditional hours and can work with your schedule.