Iowa lawmakers are looking to make a change in the way they run things dealing with HIV. Leslie Flaggs was given a 25 year suspended jail sentence and a 4 year probation period because the abusive male that she was with at the time went to the police saying that she didn’t tell him that she had HIV before they had already slept together. Flaggs said that she was afraid of him as he had hit her recently and she didn’t want to challenge anything that he said out of fear.
Although with the suspended sentence and the probation Flaggs was also given a spot on the registered s*x offenders list. She said that she felt like she was living in prison with no way out. She had contemplated suicide a number of times. Fortunately for her and others like her, the state is working on a law currently that would remove the criminal exposure part of the law and replace it with a more moderate sentence depending on whether the person knew what they were doing or not.
Around a month after Flaggs was sentenced, another person was given a bigger sentence for doing less than Flaggs had done. The current law carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. It doesn’t matter if the person did not contract HIV from the other person and it also does not protect against intent. Intentionally infecting someone with the HIV/AIDS virus is a very serious crime. Proving intent may be hard however. Advancements have come a long way in treating communicable diseases like this and with the new knowledge about how exactly HIV is transmitted, more and more innocent people will either carry a lower sentence or no sentence at all.