Iowa's Criminal HIV Transmission Law Examined
June 30, 2009
A recent court decision in Black Hawk County, Iowa where a 34-year-old HIV-positive man was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a lifetime of parole for not informing a sexual partner of his status, might lead to a national discussion on state criminal transmission laws, the Iowa Independent reports. Nick Clayton Rhoades pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV, a felony in Iowa, although he did not transmit the virus to his partner. Under state law, "in direct contradiction to its formal title," transmission is not required for a person to be prosecuted -- engaging in activity that intentionally exposes others to the body fluids of an infected person could result in prosecution, including kissing, according to the Independent. Some say that such unintended consequences might encourage Iowa and other states to revisit their transmission laws, the article states (Waddington, Iowa Independent, 6/29).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily U.S. HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.