1. Bill says

    Nice start. Now, how about a bill providing restitution for people thrown in jail when they in fact posed no risk to others? These guys shouldn’t have to live in poverty when they become senior citizens just because the state made it impossible for them to save up for it.

  2. Mitch says

    From the same state that legalized same sex marriage before everyone else? Wow.

  3. Merv says

    It’s great that the law was updated, but that doesn’t mean the law was wrong when it was written.

  4. MikeBoston says

    Actually Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same sex marriage in 2004. Iowa in 2007.

    Damn activists judges!

  5. olympiasepiriot says

    @ MERV

    Really? And it doesn’t mean that it was right, either.

    One down, 29 to go.

  6. Dave says

    Is GLAAD doing public health now? I guess all defamation in media has been eradicated.

    Anyway, don’t fall for their nonsense. No state has “criminalized HIV”. That is dishonest propaganda. What was – and remains – criminal is the exposure of others to HIV either intentionally or recklessly. The new Iowa statute continues to criminalize that behavior. However, it allows for consideration of a wider spectrum of factors. The new law creates several slots into which a case may fall, ranging from a Class B Felony to a Class D felony to a serious misdemeanor. So if you intentionally infect someone and are convicted, you can still be sent away for 25 years. If you do it not intentionally but recklessly, then it is only 5 years in prison. Also, the new statute is available to prosecutors in addition to other existing civil and criminal remedies, such as battery, negligent endangerment, etc.

    So whatever the GLAAD press release may say, make no mistake, it is still a crime to know that you have HIV or some other infectious disease and to expose others.

  7. Fenrox says

    @Dave, No, that is not reality, that is your bizarre hopeful reality. This law allows you to punish someone for a condom breaking. It’s a law that persecutes HIV positive people because it lumps all of them in one camp. If the law can’t distinguish from accidents and intent then it’s a bad law that is only going to make things worse.

    If you can’t do better then this don’t try, you’re just making things worse.

  8. Yup says

    Nonsense. If you have HIV, disclose it. Then everything is in the clear. Leaving gray areas where you say “well my condom broke” if the other person is not fully aware of what’s going on is still reckless.

  9. Leo says

    Did they or didn’t they disclose? That needs to be answered.

    Wearing condoms and/or an “undetectable viral loads” should not be thresholds for any case.

    The sociopathic act of someone trying to get laid and not revealing their status because their feelings might get hurt if they’re turned down should never take legal precedent. EVER.

    That that point is even being debated is nothing short of mortifying.

  10. Mike says

    I fail to see why just HAVING HIV is a criminal offense? When it can be transferred by blood transfusions, organ donations, (marrow, kidney, heart, pancreas, bone, corneal, etc.) tattoos, or even breast feeding or a body piercing. This just further STIGMATIZES both HIV and full blown AIDS!

    Does the far right think that you can only transfer AIDS with dirty syringes or [shudder] gay sex.

    Reckless infection of a person with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) would easily be covered under existing criminal laws.

    Am spitting mad!!!

    Wait if I had HIV, then EVEN that could be misconstrued as an “attempted INTENTIONAL infection of a deadly threat” by a nut job even though a case like this has NEVER be proven to exist.

  11. bford says

    This article and the associated campaign are both so misleading. The criminal act was not that they just happened to be living with HIV. It’s not like police were just rounding people up who had HIV. The problem here was that they had sex without disclosing that they were HIV positive. Whether or not that is illegal where you live, it is definitely unethical. Your sexual partner has the right to know if you are HIV positive.

  12. Sergio says

    “The problem here was that they had sex without disclosing that they were HIV-positive.”

    If this is indeed the case, then this is terrifying. If people are being endangered with selfish non-disclosure, then my sympathies are not with the HIV-positive folk.

  13. Håkon says

    Wait, these men were having sex without disclosing their status? It doesn’t matter if they were wearing condoms – those break all the time. How monstrous.

  14. Merv says

    I learned the ugly truth years ago on an anonymous message board similar to this one that there are many HIV+ people who are basically sociopaths. They feel no obligation, either moral or legal, to disclose that they are potentially killing someone. When the hypothetical situation is put to them of an inexperienced and ignorant 18-year-old who wants bareback sex under the assumption that the other person is HIV-, the HIV+ persons unabashedly say that, instead of disclosing and insisting on a condom, they will knowingly infect the poor fool and let him discover it later and deal with the consequences, probably after infecting many other people in turn. These sociopaths care about nothing but the orgasm, and will defend their sociopathic behavior without even a twinge of guilt. To them, if some ignorant fool expresses an interest in bareback sex, then that’s a license to murder him.

  15. Carmelita says

    If ‘gift giving’ is now legal it will make the crazies on really happy. Way to promote rape culture once again Andy Towle!

  16. Bill says

    @Carmelita : there was an article on “gift giving” some time ago in the San Francisco Chronicle. It seems a few people were into that. The number of people into that in San Francisco apparently fit into one apartment. The idea was some sort of Russian roulette with one positive guy and many more negative guys, with nobody knowing which was which except, of course, the positive guy. It was all by mutual consent, with a very small number of people finding the risk to be a turn-on. Everyone participating knew the situation.

    My opinion – better them than me. As our current Pope said, “who am I to judge,” but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t cover my you know what due to being sensible.

  17. David says

    Why am I not surprised at the inability of Towle’s typical readers to make intelligent comments to this report?

  18. Fred says

    A few basic points for the confused Towleroad commenters:

    – Having HIV, or living with HIV, is not and has never been a crime. Orgs like GLAAD try to frame the issue that way for their political purposes, but it is misleading.

    – What has been and remains a criminal act is the exposure of others to HIV recklessly or intentionally. Under the new Iowa law, potential sentences can be as high as 25 years, if exposure was intentional and results in infection. Reckless exposure can get you 5 years in prison. If you disclose your status, that is a defense to any criminal liability.

    – You can wear a condom and you can say that you nave an undetectable viral load and that the risk is low. But you still have to disclose. Tell your partner about your condom usage and your undetectable viral load and then let him give you informed consent. You don’t get to make that decision for him by withholding information.

    – One other crazy idea might be to stop hooking up with strangers. If you actually know your sex partners, which is how it works for most of humanity, then you can have thoughtful conversations about health risks in the context of love and commitment. Many studies have shown greater disclosure and greater prevention methods by HIV+ men who have sex int he context of relationships, as opposed to hookups with strangers.

  19. Bill says

    @Fred : since the video shows monitoring devices being removed, one would assume that the people in question did not do anything illegal under the current (i.e., new) law as you described it and that as a result, they did not expose others to HIV “recklessly or intentionally”. If that assumption is wrong, the article(s) are not providing all the facts relevant to the situation.