At this week's HIV is Not a Crime conference at Grinnell College, Nick Rhoades and Donald Bogardus were cut free from their GPS monitoring devices on stage in a symbolic celebration of the legislature overturning Iowa's outdated HIV criminalization law.
Nicholas Rhoades was sentenced to 25 years in prison and became a registered tier-one sex offender because he had sex, used a condom, and is HIV positive with an undetectable viral load. Donald Bogardus, who is also HIV positive with an undetectable viral load, faced similar sentencing and felony charges. Neither men transmitted HIV to their partners, but that was irrelevant, because Iowa is one of more than 30 states that criminalizes HIV.
That is, until last week, when Governor Terry Branstad (IA-R) signed into law updated, modernized HIV transmission legislation. This made Iowa the first state to repeal outdated HIV criminalization, replacing it with a transmission statute that is grounded in science, public health, and a commitment to reducing stigma.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...