Court: Iowa man guilty under HIV transmission law

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals is upholding the conviction of an Iowa man who didn’t tell a sexual partner he was HIV-positive.

The court said Wednesday that there’s a factual basis to support Nicholas Rhoades’ 2009 guilty plea to criminally transmitting HIV.

Rhoades had intercourse with a man he met online without disclosing his HIV status. His partner contacted police after learning Rhoades had HIV, but later tested negative.

Backed by the gay rights group Lambda Legal, Rhoades is seeking to overturn his conviction. He argued that his lawyer didn’t explain that the charge required proof that he intentionally exposed his bodily fluid in a manner that could transmit HIV.

The court says the two had unprotected oral sex, which raised a risk, even if low, of transmitting the virus.

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