State legislators are expected to consider a bill to ease parts of a controversial Iowa law allowing
imprisonment of HIV-infected people for up to 25 years if they don’t reveal their condition
before having “intimate contact” with another person.
Around 2,000 Iowans are HIV positive, and many feel an intense stigma living in a state where relatively few people have the virus. Three HIV positive Iowans share their stories and their opinions about Iowa Code 709 – “Criminal Transmission of HIV.”
At least 125 individuals were prosecuted across the country under these laws during 2008-11 alone. They included men and women, gay and straight, members of the armed services, people with prior criminal records and without, people from many walks of life. What did they have in common? All were HIV-positive.