Published June, 2012
Rhoades v. State of Iowa, Amicus Brief, Supreme Court of Iowa, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, The Center for HIV Law and Policy, HIV Law Project (2012)
National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, The Center for HIV Law and Policy, and HIV Law Project submitted this amicus brief in support of Nick Rhoades in his appeal of the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
After a one-time consensual sexual encounter in 2008, Rhoades was arrested and prosecuted under Iowa Code Section 709C.1, the state's criminal transmission of HIV statute. Rhoades pleaded guilty to intentionally exposing another person to HIV, for which he received the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender. The court later suspended his prison sentence after Rhoades had served a number of months in prison, and he was placed on probation for five years and on the sex offender registry with its mandatory reporting and monitoring requirements.
In the brief, amici argue that Rhoades' conduct – and the Iowa legislature's accommodation of the sexual intimacy of HIV-positive individuals that poses no more than a theoretical risk of transmission with no further obligation to disclose – is consistent with Iowa state and federal public health policies and practices that encourage risk reduction through condom use and other safer sex practices, and that encourage, without mandating, an individual's disclosure of HIV status to partners.
Copyright Information: CHLP encourages the broad use and sharing of resources. Please credit CHLP when using these materials or their content. and do not alter, adapt or present as your work without prior permission from CHLP.
Legal Disclaimer: CHLP makes an effort to ensure legal information is correct and current, but the law is regularly changing, and the accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. The legal information in a given resource may not be applicable to all situations and is not—and should not be relied upon—as a substitute for legal advice.