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Iowa Lawmaker Trying to Change Law on HIV Transmission Penalties

Posted at: 02/02/2013 1:47 PM

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would reduce penalties for HIV-positive people who have sex without disclosing their health condition.

  Des Moines Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy says he wants to change the law to reduce penalties and focus on people who purposefully infect others with the virus.

Currently, HIV-positive people who have sex without disclosing their condition face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, regardless of whether someone is infected.

McCoy wants to change the law so someone convicted of intentional or attempted transmission of the virus could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $7,500 fine.

McCoy, who is openly gay, says he's especially sensitive to this issue and wants to stop HIV-positive people from feeling stigmatized.