HIV bill moves through House committee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House committee has recommended changes in a bill that reduces penalties for transmitting diseases including HIV, meningitis, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

The bill continues to make it a felony to intentionally infect and expose another person to the diseases punishable by up to 25 years in prison. It creates lower level felony penalties for those who do not intend to infect another person.

Rep. Chip Baltimore, a Boone Republican, says the bill protects victims while updating Iowa's outdated law.

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, an Ames Democrat, says the bill is an improvement over current law but she has concerns that it will keep people with HIV and other infectious diseases from getting tested because it continues to criminalize those who know they carry a disease and potentially infect another.

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