According to examiner.com the story about Isaac Don Burks being this awful human being that was going around infecting both men and women with HIV was nothing more than a cruel hoax. Examiner.com did a little further investigation into the story as the details started to become inconsistent. They discovered after speaking to Veronica Lewin, Assistant Press Secretary for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, that it is indeed a hoax.
Unfortunately, at this time the damage to Mr. Burks reputation has been done. Burks issued a statement on his Facebook page:
“I will pray 4 the person or persons responsible for creating a false story about me spreading HIV to hundreds of people. I would love to get on here and bash every lie and false story that is floating around, but [I] have a life to live. I have friends and family who know and love me dearly and are in my corner. I am not a person who would intentionally bring pain and hurt to anyone’s life. I have seen what this disease does to people first hand, losing my best-friend to this at such a young age. It baffles me to think that someone would actually have so much hate in their heart to make a [fictitious] news article and take my past experiences to add more significance to the story.”
Per the examiner, the original story was reported with a fake url made to look like it was the NBC New York 4 website. The slight difference was in the domain. The real NBC affiliate’s domain is www.nbcnewyork.com the fake site used www.nbcnewyork4.com. But the site was apparently so convincing that no one questioned the story’s validity.
What is clear is that someone with a lot of time on their hands went through a whole lot of trouble to smear a man for life. Mr. Burks is a big man to forgive considering that the rumor could not only cause him his good name, it could be costly to his safety if the wrong person is to see him and believe the story to be true. Hopefully he will get just as much press about the story being a fake as he did about it being true. But we all know the internets have no chill, and this rumor will likely become an urban legend not soon forgotten. It’s sad, just plain sad.
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