Advocates Support Overturning Iowa's Criminal HIV Law
August 30, 2011
CHAIN -- for Community HIV & Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network -- is working to repeal the state's criminal statute relating to HIV transmission. The activists want HIV to be addressed under a state law that already deals with the intentional spread of infectious diseases. CHAIN's repeal bill died in a legislative subcommittee this year, but members vow to bring it up again.
The law works against public health goals by making people less likely to test, according to CHAIN, since it applies only to sex acts by a person who knows he or she is HIV-positive. Actual transmission does not have to occur for the law to be broken. The law carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, and those convicted must register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Nine Iowans are currently jailed under the law; two are on probation; and one is on parole.
The Gazette (Cedar Rapids)
07.31.2011; Cindy Hadish
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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