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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

White House report: End state criminalization of HIV transmission

By Lynda Waddington | 07.20.10 | 9:04 am

A white paper issued this month by the Obama administration is calling for an end to state laws — including Iowa’s — that make transmission of HIV a crime.

“In many instances, the continued existence and enforcement of these types of laws run counter to scientific evidence about routes of HIV transmission and may undermine the public health goals of promoting HIV screening and treatment,” notes the report, which is copied in full below.

“CDC data and other studies, however, tell us that intentional HIV transmission is atypical and uncommon. A recent research study also found that HIV-specific laws do not influence the behavior of people living with HIV in those states where these laws exist.”

Iowa is one of 32 states where engaging in acts that could potentially result in the transmission of HIV could be ruled a crime. The law, which was passed in 1998, was done, albeit belatedly, in response to federal funding mandates. That is, if states wanted to receive federal monies for AIDS care and education, they were required to have criminal penalties related to transmission of the disease. Only two years after Iowa passed its law, the federal government reauthorized the primary legislative vehicle for HIV/AIDS funding, the Ryan White Care Act, without requiring states to criminalize transmission or related offenses.

If a person in Iowa knows that he/she is HIV positive, Iowa’s law makes it a felony if that person:

a) engages in intimate contact with another person,

b) transfers, donates or provides blood, tissue, semen, organs or other potentially infectious body fluids for transfusion, transplantation, insemination or other administration to another person, or

c) dispenses, delivers, exchanges, sells or in any other way transfers to another person any non-sterile intravenous or intramuscular drug paraphernalia previously used

The law also very specifically notes, in direct contradiction to its formal title, that actual transmission is not required for a person to be prosecuted. Engaging in activity that results in intimate contact, defined as intentional exposure of body fluid, could result in prosecution.

Under this definition, activities recognized by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as holding a minuscule risk of transmission — such as kissing — could still be subject to prosecution under Iowa law.

In addition, there is only one affirmative defense that can be offered by an HIV-positive person accused of engaging in the suspect activities: Informed consent. What Iowa law doesn’t offer, however, is a specific definition or outline of what informed consent is.

In June and July of 2009, The Iowa Independent ran a three part series that looked at several aspects and ramifications of the Iowa law. To date, no Iowa lawmaker has signaled whether he or she is willing to revisit the decade-old statute to see if existing laws governing public health risks are adequate.

The overall goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is to make the country “a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

Key objectives include:

  • reducing the rate of new HIV infections by 25 percent over the next five years
  • increasing access to care and prevention services, including getting treatment to 85 percent of patients within three months of diagnosis
  • optimizing health outcomes
  • reducing HIV-related health disparities among vulnerable populations, including gay/bisexual men, African Americans and Hispanic men and women

Reducing the number of HIV cases is of specific interest to Iowa health officials, who note that the state had an 18 percent increase in diagnosed cases during 2009, the most recent statistics available.

In 2009, there were 127 HIV cases diagnosed in Iowa — a figure that exceeds earlier 5-year and 10-year averages. The report released by the state also notes that there is “a disproportionate number of black, non-Hispanic men with an exposure risk of having with men are being diagnosed with HIV.”

National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S.

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  • DeeDee1213

    If someone KNOWS they have HIV…and doesnt advise someone they do.. THAT's CRIMINAL….

    • The Anti-Obama

      It should be a CAPITAL OFFENSE!! OMG, what are these morons in the White House thinking? Just another reason to dump Obama in 2012.

  • King Waspy Van Houten III


  • Spanview

    While we are at it, let's decriminalize deaths by drunk drivers,…after all, accidents happen..

    Good God Almighty, please help us..I pray for this country daily. I wish no harm to anyone in this Administration, but please, please I beg you, get them the hell out of our way and let them pay their own prices for their own choices, and leave me to mine.

  • MAC59

    Obama is a complete psycho. So some guy nails his daughter knowing he's transmitting HIV and that's perfectly OK? Will this include spitting on cops? Doubtful. What a politically-correct nut job. By logic, this will have to extend to all intentional infliction of fatalities I would think. Let the eugenics begin!

  • Scooter987

    ““CDC data and other studies, however, tell us that intentional HIV transmission is atypical and uncommon. A recent research study also found that HIV-specific laws do not influence the behavior of people living with HIV in those states where these laws exist.””

    If I shoot a gun into a crowd and hit someone I didn't mean to then I did nothing wrong either.

    What a bunch of idiots. If you have HIV and have unprotected sex, you are firing a gun that can kill someone. You should be treated like any other criminal.

    The same rational can be applied to someone that fires a gun into a crowd of people. Gee, I wasn't aiming at that person therefore I did nothing wrong.

  • jC_3

    We keep the laws against selling, giving away, possessing or using illegal drugs on the books even though those laws don't seem to affect behaviors of those who make, sell or use illegal drugs; so the core of the administration's argument is shown to be hollow.

    This is more pay-off to the homosexual community for its past support of, and expected future support for the ideologically Progressive cabal headed by Mr. Obama.

    As the article noted, the majority of the 127 new HIV cases in Iowa were among men. I'd wager those men are homosexual who engaged in deliberately risky thrill sex such as anonymous anal intercourse at gay clubs or bath houses…or even highway rest areas.

    I don't care whether these men live or die as their own actions got them into the fix they're in…their choice, and they alone must suffer the consequences of the choice they made. But some of these men are likely bi-sexual and will eventually spread their disease into the majority population through wives, girl friends or even one-night stands. Or, the individuals are intravenous users of illicit drugs who share needles and may infect many people. Such actions must be held as criminal and at the minimum charge should be attempted murder in the first degree.

    Only the innocent among HIV-infected people should receive public compassion and public funding for their medications. Faithful wives or girl friends, children infected by HIV-positive mothers, persons infected through rape or other sexual assault, and much more rarely now, those infected through tainted blood transfusion are all among the innocent and not guilty of any wrong-doing in this area. I'd give my last dime to help an innocent see an extra day of life…but I'm not willing to spend one penny to extend the lives of those whose deliberate behaviors led them to the HIV death spiral; and if I learned that one of those persons who choices caused another to become infected I'd do my best to see to that he is prosecuted under the strongest of laws and if convicted sent to a maximum security prison where he would languish without exceptional or extraordinary care until the disease extracts the full punishment for his misdeeds.

    • dfflick

      Considering that there is no one truly innocent among us, except young children, your argument is found to be hollow and meaningless. Every last one of you robots on here is missing the picture that purposefully infecting someone is a crime, and will remain so, even if these laws are repealed.

      • jC_3

        dfflick…I just checked the 'like' box on your comment…well reasoned and nicely put…Now please consider these ideas:
        1. purposefully infecting someone with AIDS or any other life-ending disease is a crime, and as you noted will remain a crime, even if these laws are repealed…and rightly so.
        2. There really are innocents in addition to infants and children…including faithful spouses and partners of bisexual men, and theoretically, bisexual women. And although very, very rare in the US these days, some people have contracted deadly diseases through tainted blood or other body fluid transfusions…although virtually a non-existent problem today, tainted transfusions were and could possibly become a problem again for reasons best left to another discussion.

        My lack of pity, charity and concern extends only to persons who willfully take unnecessary risks in their sex lives, in their need to 'medicate' themselves, or other foolhardy behaviors undertaken for the sake of the thrill — or other reasons that I'll never understand. I don't find those people whose own bad behavior has harmed them worthy of taxpayer support. If those persons have the means to pay for their treatments (their own wealth or insurance they pay for) then I wish well, but I can't understand the reasoning that says you and I and other taxpayers are obligated to contribute to sustaining those lives…they did it to themselves, it's their responsibility not yours or mine.

        I do not object to private individuals or charities voluntarily giving assistance and aid to those who've harmed themselves through bad conduct. Such charity is their choice…it is a fine thing to do, if one so believes in giving it. But truthfully, such people are more gentle and caring than I. My charitable acts and donations, which are substantial (in terms of my disposable income) are aimed only at those who unequivocally cannot fend for themselves.

        And, frankly, I don't care a whit about anyone's sexual behaviors or preferences or the life system anyone else chooses…How others self-identify and what they do with other consenting adults is none of my business…I don't want to know about it, and so long as their behaviors are private, don't infringe on the way I live my life, and I'm not compelled to contribute (financially or otherwise) to the results of their actions; then I'm fine with whatever anyone does with his or her life.

        I hold to an old point of view in my life: I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. No one lays a hand on me without my permission. I don't do any of those things to others, and I expect the same courtesy from them.

        On a separate but related topic, I don't believe in public assistance to anyone who can work…our elderly who have carried their weight and the weight of others for decades but can no longer work or take care of themselves deserve our compassion. The truly infirm of body, mind, spirit and, or soul who can't take care of themselves deserve our compassion. Children, who find themselves in broken or dysfunctional residences, or who are ill, maimed or otherwise broken deserve our compassion. Each of these groups can and should be provided with the resources needed to have a dignified, not unpleasant life…especially the children…with the right support almost any child be helped into a productive and dignified adulthood.

        I hope you see the connections: those who have not transgressed against themselves and against society — against you and me — must be shown compassion and assisted enough that they may respect themselves and if needed, help them lift themselves up so they may achieve their full potential. But those whose own bad behavior has doomed them deserve only our scorn and approbation.

        I thank you sir (or ma'am) for taking the time to share your opinion. I hope this expansion of my thoughts on the matter has clarified my position for you.


        • dfflick

          Actually, it has. I was relatively convinced you were a conserv-o-bot, but you and I actually have tons of common ground.

          I entirely agree with you on the public assistance topic, but with the caveat that we must do more to create jobs here. Right now, there is not enough work to go around, and in the wealthiest country in the world, that is a travesty. Otherwise, if you are healthy and able to work, you should be doing that or engaging in education.

          If someone is doing something without regard, or with reckless disregard, or malice, it is a crime. I think we can all agree on that.

          But, how do we determine who was infected by HIV by their own actions, or someone else's? I'm speaking outside of the scope of this particular article, but in the context of your reply to me. If someone is an intravenous drug user, but gets HIV in a hospital transfusion, who makes that judgment on whether that person is innocent or not? I don't think we can.

          I also don't know if I can deny someone compassion, even if they are self-destructive. It has been my experience that those people are the ones who need compassion most of all.

          • jC_3

            Hey, bud…thanks for the come-back…your note shows that you have an actual point of view…and whether I agree or not, I always appreciate a correspondent who has a point of view.

            You'll be horrified to know that I am very Conservative — politically and culturally. You'll likely be mortified to learn that I have multiple graduate degrees, and that since retiring from a long Federal career I work mostly in Third World nations helping the leaders of emerging and recently emerged governments learn to operate within the framework of the rule of law.

            If you learn the protocols of the Public Health Service epidemic disease detection and prevention systems you'll find out how determinations are made as to the source of infection…The CDC and NPHS are very thorough and capable in their investigatory processes. In truth, both of those agencies are very politically correct, I think to the detriment of our national health, and they lump individual determinations into group statistics…getting specific determinations out of them, even by the person involved, is a long and complex process. I think they do it that way because of the GLBT lobby's very effective domination of the several congressional committees that have oversight of health agency funding and activities…the agencies are loathe to make specific judgments about individual moral turpitude. Health insurance companies are less queasy about assigning responsibility for one's afflictions, but all of that will end soon enough unless the insane national health law this Congress passed is repealed or modified.

            And just for your information, the tainted blood or fluids transmission rate is now fewer than one in two-billion for blood and fluid products processed and provided by the Red Cross national blood bank system; which provides more than 99-percent of all transfusion fluids in this country…the chances of getting a disease from a transfusion are very, very small…Most men who acquire HIV-AIDS get it from another man in an act outside of a committed relationship, and secondarily from intravenous drug use — sharing needles. Women generally get HIV-AIDS from a spouse or boyfriend…occasionally as the result of a 'fling,' and more rarely yet from intravenous drug use. Hep-B, C, or D are almost always (more than 99-percent) acquired because of something the person did…usually sharing infected needles during intravenous drug use or more rarely from unprotected sexual relations with an infected person during the transmissible stages of these diseases.

            You, (and I presume you're male) sir, are clearly a concerned and compassionate person. I hope you never lose those qualities…they are, when taken in balance with learning and the wisdom that comes of experience, a major part of what makes us human. But allow me to tell you about self-destructive people: they destroy themselves, and they so loathe their lives that they are jealous of the lives of others; and not being able to have the lives they crave they are almost universally willing to destroy or damage those who show them compassion…In short, whatever it is that has twisted their insides almost compels them to try to harm those who show concern for them. This may seem callous to you but when I encounter one of these people I run from them as quickly as I can…put as much distance between them and me as I can. And I refer them to a public health or social assistance agency…usually, these people refuse structured assistance and seek out an individual…a concerned individual on whom they may prey…what happens to the self-destructive among us should be of little concern beyond making a sincere, if brief, offer to assist them in getting to the appropriate agency for help.

            The jobs situation in this country is beyond critical, but that's another discussion — one which I'd very much like to have with you. I choose not to put my contact information on this site but if you're interested in pursuing this discussion we'll figure out a way to communicate directly.

            Again, thanks for the stimulating discussion. Hope you have a terrific evening.

            All best,

  • Intelex B

    So now anyone can knowingly give me AIDS (No, its not HIV Its AIDS) and get away with it?

    Welcome to crazy world. Obama in charge of madness.

  • froggy546

    The White House is out of its mind. If someone is HIV positive and knowingly has sex with someone who they don't tell it is criminal, unforgivable, unacceptable and actually I think it is attempted murder.

    • dfflick

      Get real! Try actually using logic before spilling nonsense out.

      Purposeful infection can still be a crime: attempted murder or aggravated assault. We have laws that cover this kind of act, more laws were unnecessary to begin with.

      Some people even choose to be intimate with someone although they are infected with HIV. These laws make that a crime as well.

  • froggy546

    Wait I just had a brainstorm IF HIV is not so bad as Obama states and thinks its ok to put people at risk I suggest we give it to him and his family. If they are ok with that no problem but I will bet he won't go for it-or perhaps he is already infected and feels misery loves company.

  • SicknessofChoice

    Knowingly transmitting a deadly disease to another person when you know you are HIV positive should not be decriminalized! That's outrageous, especially when there are many legal cases already where a person has went out and purposefully infected others with HIV! So how is that not a crime? Sentencing an innocent person to a slow death from a terminal disease like AIDS? There is still no cure for HIV just drugs which can extend life and even then they do not always work? What in God's name is the Administration under Obozo thinking? Have the Feds flipped their lids? The Libsters in the WH are just doing one stupid thing after another and this one takes the cake!

  • SicknessofChoice

    How would Obozo feel if some HIV positive dude raped his wife and daughter and purposefully infected them with HIV? Would he then try to make it so that it's not a crime? Has he been drinking too much? How in the hell could anyone not see that this is a crime and a horrible one at that? Theire are quite a few cases and current victims living with HIV who were purposefully infected, I would bet they are flipping their lids upon hearing this madness? Libtossers are idiots and need voted out completely ASAP! Who knows what they will propose next? Maybe legalizing torture which results in death is next, makes as much sense as this?

    • dfflick

      If someone raped them, they would be guilty of rape, and subject to penalties for that act. If they were infected with HIV because of that act, the perpetrator could be tried for attempted murder or aggravated assault. There are laws that cover this kind of thing already- some people have sex with those they know are infected, and these laws make even that a crime. Stop trying to polarize the concept, you are doing a horrible job.

  • Terrylee

    Oh………so gays are now stating its Okay to deliver HIV to whomever that whsh to kill….My God in Heave save us from these unstable liberal idoits who have the mind of an 11 year old.

    • dfflick

      At least an 11 year old can spell 'idiot'. And it's not just gay folks with HIV, you know…if that makes you sleep better at night, then bask in your ignorance.

  • Vivian Cross

    A white paper issued this month by the Obama administration is calling for an end to state laws — including Iowa’s — that make transmission of HIV a crime.

    The true crime here is that people voted this monkey into power…

    • dfflick

      The real crime is that you were deprived of the genetics necessary to develop a keen and full intellect.

  • UnPCdAmerican

    The White House seems to want to do away with or ignore MANY LAWS. I dont want 'social justice' I want BLIND JUSTICE where right and wrong, Legal and ILLEGAL matter not the color, nationality, religion or wealth or lack thereof.

    I remember learning that the Executive branch ENFORCES the LAW, learned that in Civics way back when the CONSTITUTION was taught and respected! Everything is upside down inside out but hopefully not FUbarred …

    Oh and I dont give a flying F WHO started it OR whose fault it is! I want MY AMERICA -TRUTH JUSTICE and the AMERICAN DREAM back!

  • Jtrace

    This white paper was published at the promptings of the CDC and NIH. The reason this is happening is that the courts are finding that the HIV test cannot be proven to detect the presence of HIV. As a result, prosecutors cannot prove that the accused even have HIV.…

  • andy1010

    We need the DEATH PENALTY,for anyone who transmits a infectious disease…NOT just HIV.Do you know,that 30,000 people EACH YEAR,die from the common flu??!Read it on the CDC'S web page!My grandma was in a nursing home,and some little kids from a school class came to visit.I'm SURE they had an infectious disease (the flu).Well,to make a long story short,Grandma got very ill,and as a result of those kids visit…she died.Those kids need to be charged with a CRIME!And,in my immediate family,my Aunt (who NEVER smoked),was just diagnosed with lung cancer.I KNOW that it was all the smoke that she inhaled in the employee lunch room-from CO-WORKERS!They should-at the very least-all be SUED for giving my dear Aunt her cancer…or LOCKED UP…for LIFE!

    • dfflick

      You say it so much like a conservative troll, that it is hard to tell if you're serious. If you mean what you said, get help. If you said it sarcastically- good job.

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