Because, Iowa, like most states, has a law that prohibits intentional transmission of communicable diseases. This statute, Iowa Code 139A.20 is part of public health code. Under Iowa Code 139A.20 and 139A.25, the knowing exposure to a communicable disease with the intent of transmitting that disease is punishable as a simple misdemeanor. However, Iowa Code 709C singles out the transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus as a separate criminal offense, classified as a class “B” felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Because, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors has called for review of HIV criminalization statutes to bring them in line with contemporary science and knowledge about the real routes, risks, and consequences of HIV transmission, the Iowa Department of Public Health has echoed the call for review of the statute; and
Because, Iowa Code 709C undermines public health goals by discouraging testing, treatment, and counseling, stigmatizes people with HIV and it wastes taxpayer dollars; and
Because, Repealing Iowa Code 709C means that intentional transmission of HIV will still be punishable under Iowa Code 139A.20, the same public health code that governs every other communicable disease.
I/My Organization Supports:
· Repealing Iowa HIV Code 709C because HIV is already encompassed in Code 139A.