The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a state law that made it a crime to knowingly transmit HIV — the virus that causes AIDS.
Twenty-five-year-old Adam Musser had appealed his four convictions — and 25-year-prison sentences — for having unprotected sex with four different women in 2002 and not telling them he was HIV positive. Musser charged the state law is unconstitutional and called his sentences “cruel and unusual punishment.” He also said the public disclosure of his HIV status infringes on his right to privacy.
The Iowa Supreme Court Justices have ruled “there is no basis for reversal” on any of Musser’s claims. The court said the state has an interest in preventing the “serious health risk” posed by those who have HIV and fail to disclose it to their sexual partners.
The ruling describes Musser’s crimes as “grave” and described him as “armed with a serious virus” in the same way a robber is armed with a weapon. At least one of the women Musser had unprotected sex with contracted HIV.