HIV is Not a Crime

Gov. Terry Branstad signing the historic bill into law that modernized and reformed Iowa’s draconian HIV criminalization statute.

In partnership with Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network (CHAIN) and additional HIV advocacy groups, One Iowa has helped to educate our legislators about the importance of modernizing Iowa’s HIV law.

After 5 years, Iowa has finally updated its HIV law to reflect current science and understanding of HIV and AIDS, and how it is transmitted.

Previously, Iowa’s HIV law 709c singled out people living with HIV and AIDS for severe criminal penalties and relied on outdated beliefs of HIV and AIDS, perpetuating harmful stereotypes about Iowans living with the disease.

The new law, passed in May 2014 with unanimous support from both the Iowa Senate and House, is no longer HIV specific, and has converted sentencing to a tiered system instead of the “one size fits all” approach used in 709c.

Iowa was the first state in the nation to reform its HIV criminalization statute, once again leading the nation. Click here to read an article from The Des Moines Register marking this historic event.