Imprisoned Over HIV:

CNN -The nightmare Nick Rhoades has been living the past four years began after a one-time sexual encounter with another Iowa man, Adam Plendl.

It was June 2008. The 34-year-old Rhoades, who is HIV positive, says he was on antiretroviral medications. His viral load -- the amount of virus in his blood -- at the time was undetectable and he says he wore a condom. But Plendl contacted the police because Rhoades did not disclose his HIV status.

What happened next, Rhoades says, changed his life forever.

The former hotel administrator was arrested three months later. The official charge: criminal transmission of HIV -- a class B felony in Iowa, where the encounter occurred. Other crimes in this category include manslaughter, kidnapping, drug crimes and robbery.

"I was in shock, trying to figure out where this was all going," Rhoades says. "My heart was racing a million miles an hour. I'd never been in trouble."

But Plendl, 22 at the time, says his life was forever changed as well, and that he was severely depressed and suffered panic attacks while waiting to find out if he was infected.

"It was 181 days of pure fear, that six-month window when you don't know," he says.

"Individuals that are HIV positive have a moral and currently legal obligation to inform any of their sexual partners of their positive status. Individuals should have the choice as to whether or not they would engage with someone who is HIV positive when they are not. In this case, that choice -- and what I also consider a right -- was not afforded to me."

In many countries, intentionally or recklessly infecting another person with HIV is a crime. In the United States, the Center for HIV Law and Policy says 32 states, including Iowa, and two territories -- Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- have such laws on their books.

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  1. I can name about 35 queens who work at these weho bars and clubs with HIV that are spreading it everyday!. I may just do that in the next 30 mins.

  2. Is the purpose of this article for discussion, to condemn his being arrested, or to condone it?? I totally agree that you should be legally required to disclose your status if you are aware of it before having sex with or without a condom, and probably for BJs too. But on the flipside, never assume, always ask guys!! and always be safe!!


  3. love it!! not his decision to make what risk his partner is willing to take.

  4. If asking if a guy's cum is infected is your strategy to stay neg, you may want to rethink that.

  5. Victim of Lying HIV+ Ex BFAugust 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Great article.

    I really think this site needs to call out those people within the gay community that have infected others with this horrible virus. For me, I recently tested Positive for HIV after being in a relationship with my BF for over a year. Unfortunately, this idiot swore up and down that he was clean, and I come to find out that I am not the only one.

    Punishment of this crime does equal attempted murder and has vast complications for the infected person: health, financial, mental, and physical. I can tell you that the person I am referencing is actively displayed on your website and applauded for his new found modeling career.

    In the state of CA, it is a crime as well, punishable up to 8 years in prison.

    Asking a person their status does not work, and many of these idiots lie about their statuses via grindr, adam4adam, etc. For me, this is a personal issue, and not one of calling out "queens" or making some rumor about someone. There needs to be something done immediately to crack down on the senseless and barbaric actions of a few.

    How's that for a dose of reality.

    1. Obamacare should help you out with your medical & mental needs; find a cheaper place to live because no one can keep a secret in one!

  6. Assume everyone is positive. Take responsibilty yourself!

  7. @4:51 - who is it? protect as all. and maybe he didnt know he was poz. too many people arent tested.

    @10:39 STFU. you are prob poz and lying.

  8. Treatment is the best cure we have right now. These laws are giving people an excuse to not get tested, to remain ignorant to their status and in turn never get treated so they have high viral loads and transmit the virus easily. Undetectable viral loads cut the risk of transmission by 96%. Instead of penalizing those who are getting treatment, penalize the ignorant ones who dont get tested regularly. It takes two to transmit HIV. There is a huge rift between the negative gays and positive gays in our commmunity, the stigma needs to end. Try living online for a day as someone Positive and count the numbet if rejections you get. If this country is serious about getting the spread of hiv under control hiv tests should be mandatory and confidential during each and every doctors visit.


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