May 7, 2014 at 11:00 am EDT | by Staff reports
Iowa HIV decriminalization bill passes
Iowa, HIV decriminalization, gay news, Washington Blade

Iowa state Capitol (Photo by Colin M.L. Burnett; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa House of Representatives on May 1 approved a bill that would lessen criminal penalties for those who unknowingly expose someone to HIV.

The Associated Press reported lawmakers passed Senate File 2297 during the final hours of the current legislative session. The Iowa Senate unanimously approved the bill in February.

The AP notes current Iowa law states a prosecutor can charge a person who exposes someone to HIV “without their consent” with a felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Senate File 2297 would allow a person to become eligible for the aforementioned sentence only if they seek to transmit an infectious disease to someone without their knowledge.

It remains unclear whether Gov. Terry Branstad will sign the bill into law.

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