Nashua woman wants Iowa's HIV law repealed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nashua woman wants Iowa's HIV law repealed, says it's discriminatory

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NASHUA (KWWL) -

A Nashua woman wants Iowa's HIV law repealed because she says it's discriminatory.

Tami Haught is part of the group "CHAIN" (Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network).

The group's goal is to repeal 709c, a state law relating to the criminal transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

"It's bad public health policy," Haught said.

Haught has been HIV positive for more than 19-years. She believes 709c deters people from getting tested for HIV.

"If you're unaware of your status, you cannot be arrested. You cannot be criminalized," she said.

Haught has made it her mission to repeal 709c because she believe there is already a law for communicable diseases.

"I've very passionate about trying to fight the stigma associated with being HIV positive, and I think this criminalization law is one of the things that is really hurting the community," Haught said.

Black Hawk County Attorney Tom Ferguson would not comment about 709c. He said questions should be asked of Iowa lawmakers who passed the law in the first place.

State Senator Jeff Danielson said no one has reached out to him to change 709c, a statute that was passed in 1998.

He said if the law doesn't allow room to determine if there was "malicious intent" than it should be re-evaluated.

Danielson encourages Iowans should get a hold of their lawmakers if they would like to see a change in the law.

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