Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Man in Iowa had been sentenced to 25 years after protected sex for HIV transmission


I received a copy by mail today of Lambda Legal’s magazine “Impact”, with a cover picture of Nick Rhoades, a defendant in Iowa sentenced to 25 years in prison for “criminal transmission” of HIV after having protected sex in 2008.  His partner complained that he had not informed the partner that he was HIV-positive, and the state apparently holds that transmission was still possible even with a condom. Because of protease inhibitor treatments, his viral load was undetectable.  His partner did not become infected.

The link for the story is here

Rhoades spent nine months in maximum security, including six weeks in solitary confinement.

The sentence has been reduced to time served and probation, but Rhoades has also been listed as a sex offender, which defeats the purpose for which a list like that is normally intended.

It may be a crime to have sexual contact (including heterosexual) with another consenting person even with protection without informing the person of HIV+ status in up to 37 states and territories.  In some states, the laws could involve other infectious agents, like Hepatitis B and C.

Lambda argues that such laws discourage people from getting tested.

The magazine covers other cases, especially for lower income same-sex couples, and I’ll report on these later. 

Wikipedia attribution link for Des Moines aerial picture.  I made many visits to the area 1997-2003.  

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